PharmAccess, Ogun State Partner on SafeCare Standards

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L-R: SafeCare Program Manager, Mrs. Azuka Okeke; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Ogun State, Dr. Nafiu Aigoro; Country Director, PharmAccess Foundation, Mrs. Njide Ndili; Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye and the Country Lead, Africa Health Market for Equity, Dr. Olamide Okulaja, during the Ogun State workshop on adoption of safecare standards for quality improvement in Abeokuta, Ogun State …recently

Martins Ifijeh
As part of efforts to improve the country’s healthcare quality assurance systems and externally validate the quality of healthcare services using the SafeCare Initiative, a non governmental organisation, PharmAccess Foundation and the Ogun State Government have partnered to “adopt and adapt” the initiative in the state.

Speaking during the official adoption of the SafeCare Standards, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, said he believed this would address the issues around healthcare services in the state, as well as better aid in institutionalising standards that can ensure objective measurement of quality in all healthcare facilities within the state.

He said there was need to build standards that were synonymous with what was obtainable internationally, hence the need to adopt the initiative to improve healthcare. “Quality in the health sector should be a legacy we must leave behind, and that is why we have put our quality team together to achieve this.

“Ogun, generally represent standard. Even our roads, bridges and other infrastructural facilities were all done to standard, so it was easy adopting this initiative for the state’s healthcare which also represents global and acceptable standards for delivery of healthcare.We have passed the stage where we should serve the people in the best way we think we can. We should now serve them conscientiously,” he added.

The Country Director, PharmAccess Foundation, Njide Ndidi, who said the standard represents a tool for assessment, noted that it does not only give a situation analysis, but provide quality improvement data and transparent objective value.

“With the adoption and adaptation of this initiative by the state government, in the next one year there will be so much improvement in the state’s health sector.

She lauded the state for being the first to engage them directly, adding that other states, such as Enugu, Oyo, Delta and Lagos, and four others had partnered with them. “Ogun State is the only state that has fully adopted and adapted the standards. PharmAccess will train officials of the state to be able to carry out the assessment of the facilities, and generate improvement plans on their own,” she said.

Ndidi also added that the Commissioner has requested that every quarter, hospitals should publish the levels they were in, so that it will be clear on the various levels of improvement reached by each health facility in the state.

She said the initiative was a five-year programme ending next year. “The project started three years ago, so it will still run for another two years,” she said.

Society for Family Health (SFH), Marie Stopes and International Finance Corporation (IFC) are also collaborating to making the programme a success.