By Danladi Al-Hassan
Over 1,120 out of 1,400 existing Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Niger state are no longer functional.
Dr. Mohammed Makusidi, the Permanent Secretary, Niger State Ministry of Health, who disclosed this at a two-day retreat on developing the primary healthcare system, in Abuja, said the state government has developed a health policy document titled: ‘Niger Health 1.0’ to address the teething challenges bedeviling the state’s PHC system.
“At least 40 PHCs have so far been renovated and remodeled to meet up to the national standard,” he said.
On his part, the State’s Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ketso, noted that the ‘Niger Health 1.0’ document would not only guide the revitalisation of the primary healthcare centres in the state, but also direct the delivery of quality health care to the people.
He assured that government was passionate and committed to fixing the deplorable state of the PHCs.
“We are working to make sure that we provide functional primary healthcare centres across the 274 political wards in the state with at least one viable centre in each of the wards.” He said.
Also speaking, the chairman, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, Dr. Ejike Orji, commended the efforts of the state government in addressing the bad situation; adding that the 274 primary healthcare revitalisation drive will crash down the poor health indices of the state.
Alhaji Abdullahi Katako, the Galadima of Kagara Emirate, identified some of the challenges confronting the implementation of rural healthcare projects in the state.
“We are facing challenges of terrain. We do not only have the largest landmass in Nigeria but also have so many hard-to-reach riverine and rocky areas,” he said.
The traditional leader, however, assured the government of the support of the local people in the quest to surmount the challenges.