By Philip Yatai
Kaduna, – The Ward Development Committee (WDC) has urged the Kaduna State Government to consider recruitment of community-based health workers.
The state Chairman, Malam Balarabe Jaji, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Wednesday.
Jaji explained that the step would address the problem of rural posting and other issues associated with insecurity affecting the retention of health workers posted to health facilities in rural areas.
According to him, most of the health workers deployed to rural communities or security prone areas, eider requests for redeployment or may not be going to work on ground of insecurity.
He argued that the problem would be solved if the health workers would be recruited from the community where the facility is located.
He stressed that most communities have certified health workers – nurses, midwives, community health workers and other allied medical sciences that the government can recruit and deploy them to facilities within their communities.
“Having an inadequate, maldistributed health workforce in rural areas, where the need is greater undermines the state’s health-strengthening efforts.
“Rural posting is often considered less desirable by health workers due to several factors, like insecurity, nonfinancial incentives and increased workload among others that put rural health workers at a disadvantage,” he said.
The state chairman said that the development makes retention of health workers in rural communities very challenging, adding that the solution was to simply recruit trained health workers from the community.
“We know them, we know their parents, they reside in the community, and they will give in their best because it is their community.
“Also, because they reside within the community, they will be able to go to work in spite of the security challenges compared to someone posted from another community,” Jaji said.
He commended the Federal and the Kaduna state government for enroling 129,977 poor and vulnerable population to access free basic healthcare services under the state health insurance scheme.
He urged wealthy individuals to support the gesture by paying the premium, to cover more poor and vulnerable in need of quality healthcare services.
NAN reports that the WDC, is a group of influential men and women responsible for overseeing development at the sub-district level was put together by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency as a social strategy for encouraging community participation and access to primary healthcare services.
The committee is made up of religious, traditional leaders and other prominent people across the communities that make up the ward. (NAN)