Enugu State governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, said his administration has prioritised healthcare delivery, as it understands the importance of a healthy population and healthy workforce.
Mbah, who said that the administration was in the process of constructing 260 Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in all the electoral wards and also ensure that every local government area got at least one world-class secondary health facility, vowed that his administration would not relent until every child, mother, the elderly and Enugu citizen has access to better healthcare.
This was even as The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) commended the Governor Mbah administration’s commitment to healthcare and nutrition.
Mbah stated this at the weekend during an inspection tour of a primary health centre at Ogononoeji Ndiuno, Akpugo, Nkanu West LGA, where he also interacted with health workers and community leaders towards primary healthcare improvement.
“Healthcare is at the core of what we do in Enugu State. Indeed, outside education in our social services sector, the next sector that is taking the largest part of our 2024 budget is healthcare.
“It is so because we understand the importance of having a healthy society and indeed a healthy workforce. And in that hierarchy of healthcare, we see the primary healthcare as the most important.”
Mbah said that it was for this reason that the administration had undertaken a thorough study of the challenges in the primary healthcare space “to have reliable data to craft an adequate strategy to address them”, adding that the administration had since swung into action.
“That is why, as you must have heard from the Commissioner for Health, we are going to be developing 260 world-class Type-2 primary healthcare centres across the entire wards in Enugu State.
“Our strategy in that area is that rather than spread ourselves thinly across 557 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), we want to focus on consolidating our resources and developing 260 world-class Type-2 PHCs because we want to provide 24-hour services in each PHC so that at any time, you would have access to quality primary health care in our rural communities across the state”, he stated.
Governor Mbah also explained that the administration was already addressing the state’s poor health workforce density, while equally paying attention to secondary healthcare.
“As part of our strategies, we are upgrading our nursing schools to colleges so that we can have more intakes and have more nurses and community health extension workers trained to man our PHC facilities.
“And as we are at the same time paying attention to secondary healthcare facilities. Our objective is to ensure that each local government gets a minimum of one world-class secondary healthcare facility.
“Part of our strategy is also to deploy technology. We have now started the process of capturing, in an electronic form, all the reports of those that have access to the healthcare system so that we can have an electronic health management system.”
He harped on the need to bring more Enugu citizens under the Universal Health Insurance Coverage, saying it was cheaper and reliable.
“We are also doing something in the universal health coverage. We have to begin to encourage our people to enrol. Just giving N1,000 every month would ensure that your ward has access to primary health care, which comes to N12,000 in a year. So, we need to increase awareness in this space for our people to take advantage of it because it does exist.”