Is Primary health care a vital component of strong Nigerian health service?
Can you imagine having a functioning primary healthcare centre just next door or close to your house, with health workers that know you, your family and perhaps neighbourhood gossip? No long queues just to check your blood pressure or get treatment for a minor cut.
Having a primary health care worker will in addition reduce mortality and promote better health outcomes and more equitable distribution of health in populations. Regular primary care visits are associated with fewer visits to overcrowded secondary and tertiary hospital visits, expensive private hospitals, visits to emergency departments and hospitalisation.
Most PHC s are underfunded and underused, they lack properly trained health workers, lack medications, space to treat patients, no proper information system or data collection and most people are poor and would rather go to a chemist and buy medication than pay a fee for a consultation.
With the ongoing brain drain, strike and additional pressure on health workers, strengthening the PHC and making each self-sustainable should improve healthcare right from the bottom to the top.
Some enthusiastic volunteer doctors, with the support of CMF, are starting a project to see how a small PHC in Bekaji Yola Adamawa state can achieve all the above mentioned.
As we kick off this October 2021 to start this exciting journey, I was very impressed with the amazing staff that were willing to be our pilot team. It will be a long learning process, but I know we are already off on a good start. Having determined, keen and trusted team members is a good start.
Do follow our journey as we navigate and discover how we can help and support primary health care in Nigeria. Watch this space and do support us #supportaPHC