By; BALA BITRUS,Minna
Following series of advocacies for a better organized and funded primary health care and the strenghtening of health system in Niger state by the Global Promoters for Community Initiative, (GPCI), a non governmental civil society organisation which is into Primary Health Care Under One Roof Advocacy Team, (PHeCSAT), Niger state has begun to draw dividends from its outreaches advocacies from international donor agencies for development of the primary health care institution in the state.
Sources within the Global Promoters for Community Initiative told our correspondent that Niger state had recently drawn a $500,000 health grant from the Save One Million Lives, an international healthcare support/donor agency.
The Save One Million Lives has plans for a basket of about $2 million as grant which is tied to development of PHC in states. It assists states to scale up the provision of primary health care services to persons especially in rural communities across the state.
And while addressing the media in Minna as part of activities marking the end of phase II of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof advocacy intervention project, the Niger state Coordinator of PHeCSAT who also doubles as the Executive Director, Global Promoters for Community Initiative, Kalejaiye Olasukanmi, said the activities of his organization has led to a better primary healthcare system in Niger state though with a lot of room still desiring improvement.
The GPCI had for over three and half years pressured Niger state government to constitute a governing board for the state’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency without success till last September when the present administration in the state constituted a new board.
Following pressure and advocacies by the GPCI and it’s coalition, sister partner, the PHCSAT, Niger state has moved from the rear to a second best position in Primary Health Care Development Agency, (SPHCDA) in Nigeria.
At the media briefing which was to also celebrate the 2019 Day of African Child, Kalejaiye Olasukanmi said the primary objective of his organization has been to work towards attaining a better health for the African child especially children under five years old.
He lamented that 23% of children born in African states still die of preventable diseases even as he painted a grim picture of poor health care delivery facilities at most basic healthcare centres across Niger state.
Kalejaiye Olasukanmi noted that despite slightly improved budgetary allocations by federal and state governments, funding of healthcare delivery was still a far cry.
He therefore called on the Niger state government to, as a matter of urgent necessity, ensure better funding of basic health institutions, implement the state health delivery plan as enshrined in the documents of the World Health Organization, UNICEF and corroborated by agencies supporting good health for citizens of the world in line with Universal Health Coverage, (UHC).
He used the occasion of the media briefing to ask the Niger state government to either exempt the State Primary Health Care Governing Board from the recent dissolution of all boards for agencies and parastatals in the state or hastily reconstitute a new board for the PHC in the state.
The governing board which was inaugurated last September, had less than five months in office before it was dissolved along with other boards following the recent general elections.