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Niger state government has transfered all staff of Primary Health Care from the Niger state Ministry of Local affairs to the state’s Primary Health Care Development agency.
The State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the State’s Primary Health Care Development Agency Governing Board,Ahmed Ketso disclosed this while declaring opened a 3-day capacity building retreat for members of the Governing Board which took place at Ibeto Hotel, Abuja on Tuesday.
The Deputy Governor hinted that payment of salaries to staff of all primary Health Care by the Primary Health Care Development agency would commence October with focus on how to reduce fragmentation in the management and governance of the PHC system and to also ensure full autonomy of the SPHCD as a self accounting entity.
The Deputy Governor added that the move which several administrations in the past could not achieved was also targeted at enabling the Primary Health Care Development Agency to conduct an entire PHC workforce, identify the human resource gaps and conduct redistribution where necessary which will in turn ensure equitable distribution of health workforce across the State as well as translate into equitable and qualitative service delivery to all Nigerlites regardless of geographic locations.
Ketso also hinted that the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello made a two years advance payment for the Basic Health Care provision fund (BHCPF) aimed at revitalising one at least one functional Primary Health Care centre per Ward towards achieving the universal Health coverage, added that State has established the State health insurance scheme by name (Nicare) in a bid to remove financial barriers from accessing quality health care.
The scheme according to him not only focus on formal sector like the National Health Care Insurance Scheme but on all categories of Nigerlites so they can access health care based on their needs.
Ketso then called on both leadership of the Ministry of Health and the State Primary Health Care Development Agency to remain resolute and focused for more successes. He prayed that the knowledge gained from capacity building retreat be put into judicious use by board members to further advance and contribute towards qualitative health care service delivery for all.
In his opening address , the Commissioner of Health Niger state, Dr Muhammad Muhammad Makusidi described the retreat as timely and apt as it will consolidate the state’s roadmap in post covid 19 recovery.
According to the Commissioner, despite the adverse effects of covid 19, the state under the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello learnt great lessons including the relevance of local contents by being innovative and creative especially by reinventing local masks, ventilators, handwashing equipments and production of consumables among others. He added that even at the peak of the pandemic the state government was able to put in place a strategic development document and emergency preparedness and construction of multi-purpose medical laboratory which was a grade three bio-laboratoty that is capable of testing all diseases with the exception of Anthrax.
Also speaking separately at the retreat, the Executive Director of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Ibrahim Dangana and State’s Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria Niger State, Ibrahim Abubakar Bosso Lalalo described the meeting as interesting and vital as it will go a long way in availing members the opportunity to get acquainted with the functions of Public Sector Boards, structures and activities of each department of the agency, grasp powers and functions of the governing board and financial provisions among many others. The duo appreciated the effort of Niger state Governor for his tremendous support and commitment to the health sector.
Resource persons at the retreat were drawn from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON)