By Stella Kabruk
Kaduna – Civil society organisations promoting health issues in Kaduna State on Tuesday called for proper funding of the 255 primary health centres being rehabilitated by the state government to ensure optimal performance and proper maintenance of the facilities.
The CSOs made the appeal during the Open Kaduna forum put together by Kaduna State Accountability Mechanism (KAD-MAM) in collaboration with Initiative for Integrated Grassroot Empowerment and Support (IIGES) under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale ([email protected]) Project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the coalitions had earlier undertaken assessment of the 255 PHCs, whose rehabilitation work began three years ago.
Presenting the report of the assessment visit, Chairman of the coalition, Mustapha Jumare, revealed that only 7 out of the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state have 13 standard rooms for health services provision while only 7 per cent of the PHCs have a minimum of 4 nurses and midwives attached to them.
The report also showed that most of the centres do not provide 24 hour service, a situation which posed serious concern to the populace especially pregnant women seeking professional support during delivery when the PHCs close.
According to the survey, only 38 per cent of the PHCs have ambulances, most of which were grounded.
The report indicated that the facilities have no security cover, as about 17 of them have less than two security guards watching over the facility.
The report further revealed that none of the PHCs have the minimum number of 19 health workers and five supporting staff as the standard required, adding that only 52 per cent have accommodation for staff.
“Similarly, most of the centres do not have walls that surround them,” Jumare said, adding that walls and ceilings in some of the renovated primary health centres were not in good condition.
As part of the recommendations, the CSOs said, “Government should identify the PHCS that do not meet up to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency standards and address such gaps.
“A maintenance unit should be established in all the LGAs and given the responsibility of maintenance of all PHC facilities.
“Government should employ or engage security guards to protect the lives and properties of the renovated and upgraded PHCs.”
They also recommended for the recruitment of additional health personnel for each of the PHCs so as to meet up to the 19 minimum number of health workers required per primary health centre.
In his response, Director Public Health, Dr Ado Zakari, said the state government is working hard to upgrade the PHCs and employ more health workers.
He said the state would soon commence cancer screening for women in four secondary facilities.