By Justina Auta
The Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has appealed for the provision of hospital consumables, non-consumables and additional health workers at the various Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the FCT.
They made the call recently during an advocacy visit to various stakeholders, including the FCT Environmental and Occupational Health Division, Public Health Department, and the FCT Agency for Control of AIDS/HIV (FACA).
Mr Samuel Simon, ACOMIN FCT Programme Officer, said the visit was to highlight challenges affecting the operations of PHCs based on their community engagement under the COVID-19 Response Mechanism and Sustainable System for Health (C19RM/RSSH) Project in Abuja.
“One of the challenges identified as far as our PHC is concerned is the shortage of manpower and consumables across all the PHCs in the FCT.
“Although some community members have over time provided some of these things, however, we know that it will never be enough because they are facilities where people move in every day.
“Considering the present economic situation in Nigeria, we sure know that the level of patronage to some of these facilities is high and amounting to struggles of both human and material resources.
“So, there’s a need to support our PHCs with more health workers and consumables that would address their challenges,” he said.
Simon said the C19RM/RSSH project in five area councils of the FCT aims at strengthening community ownership and responsibilities of the PHCs for improved access to healthcare and service delivery.
“Our project is to strengthen PHCs within our domain by ensuring that they operate optimally and that the community members are getting the benefits they ought to get.
“And to also ensure that the communities take ownership and responsibilities of these facilities so that we don’t always look at it as a government responsibility.
“Hence, the need to empower community members to take full responsibilities of the daily running of these facilities to enable them benefit from the available services.
“We have been carrying out advocacies with critical stakeholders, communities and government offices on the projects and also encourage them to buy into the ideas of the project to improve health and wellbeing of the people,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Salifu Nathaniel, noted the achievements made in the project through advocacies, strengthening community engagement and system to address the gaps in the healthcare system and ensure efficient and effective health outcomes.
“One of the significant progress this project has made is that we have been able to strengthen community systems to take ownership of these facilities.
“We have the Community Networking Services in the area councils where the projects are been implemented, they conduct advocacies, identify focus group discussions, identify facilities that are not optimally used, what their challenges are, and how to intervene.
“We also identify stakeholders in the community that may gather resources together and provide consumables like mosquito nets, cotton wool, methylated spirit, cleaning agent materials, and other services.
“We try to drive community ownerships of the PHCs and try to mobilise resources, we also do advocacies on COVID-19 and sensitise people on the need to get vaccinated,” he added.
Responding, Mr Modi Jibrin, the Head of the Environmental and Occupational Health Department, Public Health Department, FCT, assured them of their commitment towards improving the health status of the people.
Jibrin, however, called for more support in providing services and consumables that would ensure that people in communities get the optimal healthcare services.
Similarly, Mrs Zainab Ibrahim, thevMonitoring and Evaluation Officer, FCT Action for the Control of AIDS (FACA), assured that immediately consumables are available, they will be channeled to the area councils for distribution to the various PHCs.
Ibrahim commended the organisation for their unwavering support and commitment to minimising the impact of COVID-19 on malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and others in the FCT.
NAN reports that in attendance were Mrs Chinwe Aganekwu, the FCT Deputy Coordinator on Malaria Network; FCT TB Network Coordinator, Mr Salifu Nathaniel; Mr Peter Ikiti, FCT HIV Network Coordinator; Mrs Justina Auta of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and other members of the association. (NAN)