The Federal Government has been called upon to give 70 percent of budgetary allocation in the health sector to Primary Health Care (PHC) centres across the 774 local government areas in the country.
This was the submission at a one-day Rural Health Accountability Project (RHAP) with PHC managers across the 16 local government areas of Kwara state.
At the event themed “Engaging PHC Heads in Building Stronger Workforce To Improve Health Care Service Delivery”, stakeholders said this action from government will improve maternal and child health in the country.
Speaking at the programme, Head, Department of Public Health, Kwara State University, Malate, Professor Oluwasogo Olalubi, said the PHCs are supposed to be the closest and first point of call for patients in the community.
“But the reverse is now the case, patients in the community go straight to teaching and general hospitals which are supposed to be referral centres for common treatable diseases.
“To improve the situation, the government should give 70 percent of budgetary allocation in the health sector to the PHCs across the 774 local government areas in the country.
“Healthcare workers must be accountable and ready to protect necessary hospital equipment supplied to PHCs,” hd said.
The public health expert said PHCs must be upgraded with internet facilities and equipment.
He emphasised the need for data managers and security experts to make use of statistics for record purposes in the PHCs.
In his remarks, the publisher of Solacebase Communications, Alhaji Abdullateef Abubakar-Jos, said RHAP is aimed to improve health at the PHC level.
He said their experience has shown that most of the PHCs structures are obsolete, dilapidated and lack basic infrastructures.
According to him, there must be a tripod approach in salvaging the PHCs system in Nigeria vis the healthcare workers, government and the people.
Abubakar-Jos said patients have lost confidence in the PHC system in Nigeria and bypasses this stage to the secondary and tertiary healthcare delivery.
While supporting the 70 percent increase in funding PHCs, he reiterated that effective funding and commitment remains key to revamping the PHCs in the country.
He tasked media practitioners on investigative reportage on outreach programmes in reporting PHC activities.
Abubakar-Jos added that remuneration of health care workers remained a key factor in the PHC delivery.