Primary Healthcare: Ondo Strategizes on Minimum Service Package

By: Ade Adeleke

In Ondo State, working to achieve a reinvigorated Primary Healthcare, Stakeholders have held a Five Day Costing and Investment Planning Meeting on Minimum Service Package.

At the opening ceremony of the 5 day programme which was held at Igbaraoke, in Ifedore Local Government Area of the State, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro said in compliance with the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof policy of the Federal Government, which is meant to bring efficiency into the running or the Primary Healthcare, Ondo State has been able to create the Primary Healthcare Agency to coordinate and supervise the 18 Local Government Primary Healthcare Authorities.

According to the Commissioner, the National Primary Healthcare Agency on behalf of the Federal Government carried out an assessment of the 9 pillars of the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof across the 36 States of the Federation to ascertain the level of implementation and Ondo State did well in all but one pillar, which is the Minimum Service Package ( MSP) where it scored 40%.

This being the reason for the 5 day meeting.

Dr Adegbenro added that to rewrite this unacceptable low score on MSP, the State commenced a stakeholders sensitisation meeting in January, this snowballed into the 5 day Costing and Planning meeting, meant to do a categorisation of Primary Health facilities in the State and cost the services for planning purpose.

In a Statement signed by Abooluwa Famakinwa, the Ministry’s Press Officer quotes the Commissioner to have outlined the 3 classes into which Primary Healthcare facilities will be categorised to include : Health Post (type 1), Primary Health Clinics (type 2) and the Comprehensive Health Center (type 3).

The Health Commissioner revealed that the 5 day meeting is the second leg of steps put together to cost the MSP and it is meant to produce an all important document that will be presented to stakeholders at a later date.

He further added that the State Governor has approved the renovation of one Primary Healthcare facility per Local Government Area to the standard of the MSP, while recruitment and devolution of PHC workers to the Primary Healthcare Agency will soon commence.

In his scorecard and review of the Primary healthcare Under One Roof in Nigeria, the Lead Consultant from the National Primary Healthcare Agency, Mr Niyi Ekisola, said all 36 States and the FCT have established their Primary Healthcare Boards and what is left is to boost them to perform better.

He said Ondo State came 14th in the last assessment of the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof but lacked in legislation and Minimum Service Package.

In his opinion, if the State can improve in these two areas, it is likely to be among the 1st five States in Primary Healthcare Under One Roof score card 5 which will soon take place.

Mr Tunde Ayoade who represented the UNICEF Chief of Field, Mr Tejinda Sandhu, said the State is in the right direction and doing well in the Area of Primary Healthcare Under One Roof.

He implored all Health Stakeholders to have a change of attitude in the right direction, so as to achieve the desired target and deliver quality and accessible healthcare to the people of the State.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Executive Secretary of the Primary Healthcare Development Agency thanked the Governor for upgrading the Board to the status of an Agency ,saying the Era of board for the Primary Healthcare is gone.

Dr Akanbiemu said the State is one of the few States of the Federation that have completely met the requirements of what the PHC should be.

He said after the 5 day programme,the State will be ready to fly higher as Primary Health facilities in the State would have been categorised into what service they are to render, what infrastructure they need and what it will cost to run them.

The Executive Secretary explained the three categories into which Primary Healthcare facilities are to be : Healthpost; this should carter for 10,000 .

Category 2, should have more human resources, buildings and facilities not available at the Healthpost.

The 3rd category is the Comprehensive Health Center, which is the largest that should cater for between 40-50,000 people.

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