Public Health Professionals in Nigeria are collaborating with the Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases of the Senate of Nigeria to provide 70% of the health needs of Nigerians by ensuring a workable, effective and efficient Primary healthcare system in the country.
This commitment was reached when the Society of Public Health Professionals of Nigeria (SPHPN), with the collaboration of the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), under the Partnership for Advocacy in child and family health At Scale (PACFaH@Scale) paid an advocacy visit to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases, Senator Chukwuka Utazi.
The objectives of the Advocacy visit is to present the report from the scoping mission, conducted on the activity of PHCUOR at the national level (NPHCDA) and also to advocate for separate budget line for PHCOUR activities. to the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Chukwuma Utazi on PHC and Communicable Diseases. This is especially in terms of collaborating with the work of the relevant Committees of the NASS, to express the Society’s recognition and appreciation of the concurrence of the objectives of SPHPN and the mandate of the Committee. The advocacy visit was to assure the Committee of the willingness and capability of the Society to continue to collaborate in fulfilling their shared objectives. Finally, the advocacy visits also aimed to proffer recommendations for reforming the PHC policies in Nigeria
In his presentation during the visit, the Association’s National President, Professor MC Asuzu, who was represented by the President of the Abuja chapter of the Association, Dr Tolu Fakeye (Project Director, SPHPN-PAS) handed over the 120-page findings of the association on the status of primary health care system in Nigeria.
In the report, the association charged the senate to reposition the primary healthcare services in the country, to place it on the pedestrian, to solve the demand for quality health. The report also calls for sustainable funding of the primary healthcare in Nigeria through searching for alternative domestic resource financing, review the minimum service package and an improvement of the human resources for health if the country is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.
The association challenged the Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases to tackle the persistent incidence of underutilization of budgetary funds by MDAs.
In his response, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases, Senator Chukwuka Utazi declared that the senate is open to any collaboration that will provide 70% of Nigerians with the needed healthcare coverage, adding that it is only when the PHC is effective that Nigeria can be said to be on its way to achieving UHC by 2030.
Senator Utazi added that the National Assembly would explore avenues for taking needed corrective measures through legislation and oversight activities to reform the PHC policy and inject new ideas as being proposed by the association to optimize the PHC system in the country.
Senator Utazu promised that his committee will push for legislative action that could result in improved budget allocations, release and utilization of funds especially in favour of primary health care programs and communicable diseases in Nigeria.
SPHPN-PAS members in group photograph with Senate Committee Chairman on PHC and Communicable Diseases