Primary Health Care, Critical For Achieving Universal Health Coverage..
—- Dr. Michael Nwoko.
By Iroroh Frank.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA), to Delta State Governor on Health Monitoring, Dr. Michael Nwoko has stated that Primary Health Care Service offered by Primary Health Care Facilities are critical and fundamental for achieving the Universal Health Coverage and emphasised that His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, do recognize the fact that Primary Health Care is the foundation of healthcare delivery service, hence his commitment to ensuring that Primary Healthcare Facilities across the State are functional in order to meet with the demand for Health Care at that level. The SSA, therefore urged Primary Healthcare providers to be committed to duty to justify Government’s huge investment in the area.
Dr. Nwoko stated this on Thursday 19th September, at Oshimili South Local Government Primary Health Centre, behind DLA, Asaba, where he flagged off Monitoring and evaluation of Primary Healthcare Facilities.
His words, ‘Primary Health Care is critical and fundamental for achieving Universal Health Coverage, and His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa recognize the fact that Primary Health Care is the foundation for healthcare service, which underscores his commitment to ensuring functional Primary Healthcare Facilities across the State in order to provide Quality, Accessible and Affordable Healthcare at that level. This therefore demand optimum commitment to duty by primary healthcare providers in order to justify Government’s huge investment in the sector’. The SSA emphasised.
The SSA and his team were met on arrival by the Chief Health Officer of the centre, Mrs. Uche Odache, who conducted the team round the facility.
Mrs. Odache, in an interview, stated that patient load in the centre is high which she attributed to the free medical service of the government and commended His Excellency for the laudable initiative.
Before departure, the SSA noted the challenges of the centre and advised the staff to always keep the environment clean.
The SSA and his team left for Umuagu Primary Health Centre, where they met many of joyful nursing mothers singing praises to God for His Grace and to His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for providing free medical care for them and their kids.
The nursing mothers and their kids were at the centre for routine immunization of their babies.
The Chief Matron of the Centre, Mrs B. Okenyi who was on hand to receive the team, conducted them around the health facility.
Later in an interview, Mrs. Okenyi commended Governor Okowa for the laudable free medicare of his administration and his focus in the health sector, she stated that the people are happy and that responses to the Primary Health Centre are very high.
Her words, ‘as you can see, nursing mothers coming here are always happy, as they can access treatment and drugs free, some of the drugs are branded and there is no way they can be sold because it has ‘free’ boldly written on it.’ She emphasised.
At the Primary Healthcare Center, Anwai, the SSA charged the Staff to brace up their services adding that there’s need for them to uphold ethical standards in the discharge of their duties. He reminded the Staff of the high premium the state Government placed on primary healthcare delivery.
The Healthcare officer enumerated the challenges they face to the SSA and his team.
The SSA promised to convey their complaints to the appropriate authority.
At the next point of call, the Primary Health Centre, Cable, Asaba, the SSA and his team were met on arrival by the matron of the centre, who conducted the SSA round the wards, labor room, record unit and other parts of the Centre.
She complained of low birth attendance and attributed the development to cultural belief by most residents in the area who prefer to patronize traditional homes. She stressed the need for adequate enlightenment campaign in the area and solicit for the accreditation of the center as a health care provider by the Delta State Contributory Health Commission.
She however stated that nursing mothers do come to the Health Centre for immunisation and other medical attention after delivery.
The challenges were noted by the SSA.
The Primary Health Centre, Akwuebulu, Asaba, was also visited by the SSA and his team. The Health officer in charge of the center thanked the SSA and his team for visiting and used the opportunity to presented a barrage of challenges hindering smooth operation of the Centre and these were noted by the SSA.
After the inspection, the SSA charged the staff to remain committed to duty and assured them that immediate action will be taken to address the challenges obstructing effective operation of the Centre.
The SSA and his team were also at the Okwe Primary Health Centre, where staff of the Centre were on hand to conduct them around the wards and units in the Centre.
The Chief Matron in charge of the center who conducted the SSA and his team round the facility, later in an interview said, ‘ The creation of the office of SSA Health Monitoring and the appointment of Dr. Michael Nwoko to the position by the Governor is a welcome development as it will make health workers in the State to be more serious and also help them communicate their challenges to the State Government through the Office.’
Further, she added, that the response to the Centre by patients is high despite the fact that Okwe General Hospital is just a stone throw from the center. We still have a lot of attendants’.
She concluded by commending Governor Okowa for the serious attention his is paying to the health sector.
The SSA acknowledged the friendly atmosphere existing amongst staff of the Centre and encourage them to be more committed to duty as he reminded them that Primary Healthcare service, remain pivotal for achieving Universal Health Coverage in the State.
The SSA and his team did a stopover at Okwe General Hospital, which had been visited earlier in the month. The SSA was there to confirm the latest delivery of equipment to the Centre and re assessment of the hospital store.
He was met on arrival by the Zonal Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Mark Agadas.
Dr. Agadas confirmed that a few medical supply have been delivered and thanked Dr. Michael Nwoko for his prompt report on the challenges facing the Hospital and added that most of the issues they had were attended to immediately after his first visit adding that their ICU ambulances is now fully functional.
In his reply the SSA noted that the quick response to the challenges of the Hospital underscores the determination of the Governor to pay attention to health matters and reiterated that ambulance service is crucial in the facility in view of the strategic location of the health facility to the Asaba – Onitsha express way as they should always be ready to offer emergency service for accident cases on the road.
Dr. Nwoko advised on the use of incinerators by Hospitals and clinics for the disposal of medical waste in order to prevent environmental hazards due to improper management of waste.