By Michael Peter, The Sight News
ABUJA: The Health Minister, Isaac Adewale has urged Nigerians to take ownership of the primary healthcare centers, stressing that it remains key in disrupting the current overburdened state of the tertiary healthcare institutions in Nigeria.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop on immunisation and primary healthcare centers organized by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Abuja, the Minister insisted that Primary Healthcare centers belonged to the people, saying that a lot of the care sought for at the tertiary healthcare institutions can be provided for at the primary level.
“The Primary Healthcare Centers belong to our people and we believe that many of the things that are happening at the tertiary health institutions can take place there.
“To me, this initiative is very essential and it is a mark of recognition of the importance of civil servants in our society. The civil servants are the engine room and without them nothing works.
“Only two in 10 of some 30,000 primary health centres are functional, leaving many covered in weed, without electricity or water and unstaffed” he said,
The workshop was aimed at engaging civil servants, to enable them champion the demand for routine immunisation and Primary Health Care services across the country.
Adewale lauded the decision by the National Primary Healthcare Agency to engage civil servants in the quest to improve vaccination and primary healthcare.
He expressed optimism that with the involvement of civil servants, things will begin to chance in respect to immunization and primary healthcare.
On her part, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita urged civil servants to see the initiative as a way of giving back to their communities from where they came.
Represented by an official at her office, Ayodele Olayemi, Oyo-Ita charged all civil servants to sign up as volunteers to become champions of immunization and primary healthcare in their communities.
While insisting that sensitization is key in driving the Primary healthcare, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA Executive Director, Faisal Shuaib, on his part, held that civil servants can take with them the message of the importance of immunization and the primary healthcare system back to their various villages.
He further noted that it would take the States, local governments, private sectors as well as every Nigerian to drive primary healthcare forward in the country.