Nigeria: Those Who Need Health Services Most, Not Getting It, Professor Ejembi Laments

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*UNICEF sponsors STOT on CHIPS


By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna


Professor Clara Ejembi of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has expressed worries that the people that need health services the most are the ones not getting it.
According to the Professor, who is the Principal Consultant of the Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) programme in Nigeria, those who should have the best of health services are those at the Hard-to-Reach areas in the country.
She said unfortunately they are the ones without access to the services and that it is time the country fixes it and moved away from the norm by bringing good and quality healthcare services to the door steps of those in the hard to reach areas.
Professor Ejembi, spoke in Zaria, on Tuesday at the opening of the Kaduna State Training of Trainers (STOT) Workshop on CHIPS program organized by the Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Board and funded the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Kaduna Field Office.
She added that for the Universal Health Coverage to be effectively achieved, there most be deliberate investment in the community component which have been neglected.
“At policy level, the community has not been given the right attention in Nigeria. Partners are the ones driving the process with little or no effort from the government.
“The interventions by the partners most be harmonized for the overall good of the community because each partner are just working separately as it is.” She said.
CHIPS is a critical component of the Primary Health Care Revitalization initiative that aims to address the challenges of health’s human resources in the rural areas.
The overall aim of CHIPS Programme is to improve access and equitable coverage to essential health services, especially those relating to maternal, new born and child survival.
It is also met to address barriers to demand for Primary Healthcare (PHC) services, ensure supply of integrated PHC interventions, linking the health workforce at health centres in rural and underserved communities to the households and tackling delays in decision to seek care, reaching care and receiving adequate healthcare.
In his Goodwill message delivered by Dr. Idris Baba, Health Specialist, Chief of Field Office UNICEF Kaduna, Dr. Zakari Adam, reiterated the agency’s support for the state government on issues that impacts children.
According to him, “this is one of those activity we believe so much that would help children mothers in the state and also help in achieving the Universal Health Coverage.
“Kaduna State is smart enough to focus it’s own interventions, rather than be going to towns covering them, they were a bit more clinical in ensuring they go to the hard to reach communities to start with.
“I want appreciate the Kaduna State government for their foresight in choosing the CHIPS strategy to push forward their universal health coverage agenda. I want to also appreciate partners for their support in ensuring that the commodities are made available and also the participants for being part of this.”
In her remarks, the State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-baloni, said she believed that the STOT will not only be very important to having a pool of competent trainers to cascade the same training at the lower level, but that it would also be the beginning of a stronger partnership in reaching every community in Kaduna State with essential health services.
“I am certain that inshaa Allah,  2021 will be a year that we will achieve better coverage of intended interventions to the target beneficiaries. We have to forge strong partnerships, driven by our shared values and policy objectives and deliver impact on the ground.” She added.

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