Nigeria: FG Convenes National Summit on Primary Healthcare

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The Federal Government is convening a national submit on Primary Health Care (PHC) in Nigeria in August 2017 to identify, decide and develop consensus and commitment on strategies to urgently revamp PHC in Nigeria and mobilize the needed resources to achieve this goal.

The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib disclosed this on Friday while inaugurating a special committee charged with the responsibility of organizing the summit.

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The Executive Director said that the two-day summit would also serve as a platform for cross-fertilization of ideas arising from relevant stakeholders with responsibility for promoting primary health care in Nigeria.

Dr. Faisal gave 8-point terms of reference to the committee which includes agreement on the suitable theme and expected outcome, a plan, and program for the summit, identify and secure suitable speakers for the plenary session. Others are to recommend members of the subcommittee and report to the Executive Director on all issues related to the summit.

Dr. Faisal regretted that nearly 3000 women and children less than 5 years die daily from preventable disease in spite of the joint  concerted efforts by the agency with the State Primary Health Care Boards, Local Government Authorities, Professional Associations, Academia,  Civil Society Organizations, Traditional Leaders, Private Sector, the Media and relevant Stake Holders.

He also identified significant gaps in technical coordination, system planning and integrated approach to policy implementation as some of the challenges facing the Agency and its partners in the achievement of its mandate on PHC.

He, therefore, charged all stakeholders on Primary Health Care to give necessary support to the Committee for the success of their assignment.

In his remarks, the Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health, Honorable Mohammed Usman assured the agency of the full support of the National Assembly to the success of the summit, stressing that the house committee had been involved in advocacy to improve PHC even to the presidential level.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary FCT primary health care board Dr. Mathew Ashikeni expressed great delight in the agency`s commitment to convening the National Summit on PHC at such a crucial time and pledged the support of all state primary health Boards to the success of the summit.

In his contribution, the chairman, Nigeria Immunization Financing Task Team, Dr. Ben Ayene advocated increased public awareness on the overall objectives and goals of the National PHC Summit.

The 21-member committee for the national PHC Summit is headed by Dr. Oladimeji Olayinka, the Director Primary Health Care System Development in the Agency. Members were drawn from NPHCDA, WHO, World Bank, BMGF, UNICEF, MAMAYE Evidence for Action, Preston Health Care Consulting, NGF, Association of Public Health Physicians, Nigeria Medical Association, National Association of Nurses and Midwives, National Association of Community Health Practitioners in Nigeria, Private Sector Health Alliance and other partners.