Healthcare Funding: Partners are No Replacement for Govt, Says Ene

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  • As Nigeria loses 3,000 women, children to preventable diseases

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

In the provision of basic healthcare services and in ensuring every Nigerian is covered in the National Health Act, the Chief Executive Officer of Preston Healthcare Consult Limited, Dr.

Nkem Ene has disclosed that donations from partners cannot in anyway take the place of the federal government in its responsibility towards healthcare delivery.

Ene who stated this in Abuja at the implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR), said in achieving the implementation in states, there was a need for synergy between partners and the government at all levels.

To this end, she said Preston Healthcare Consult had provided the eHub which is a platform in which a lot of things can be done and this include tools and manuals that have been developed to support states on how to access the platform.

She said, “There is no way the partners can replace the federal government in terms of funding and care of our people. However, that is something that helps us to demonstrate what we call proof of concept when it comes to new ideas in the delivery of basic healthcare.

“The good thing is that in Nigeria, we are encouraged to sit at the table and so partners are encouraged to lend their voice to what is happening. Partners not being government but being in partnership with the government have the space and the independence to demand whatever has been promised, whatever has been included in the plan, and whatever has been put in the bill of services should be given to our people. It’s not enough that when the elections are coming round people are piling up what they want to do.

“Partners not being part of government are able to independently demand what was promised. We work with government day by day with our eyes in observing all that is happening to make sure the progress is ensured so accountability is a big part of what the partners do when they sit on the table with federal government, state government or local government.

“Since 2011 that the PHCUOR was acknowledged by the National Council on Health, there has been no coordination of what states are really doing. There is coordination but it is poor. So partly, states are actually doing different things and encountering different problems.

On his part, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said Nigeria loses 3,000 women and children under the age of five to preventable diseases daily due to its poor health system.

According to him, primary healthcare remains the foundation for reasonable and sustainable changes to the poor health indicators in the sector, since it deals with these preventable diseases.

“Nigeria’s poor health outcomes in critical areas is best reflected by the fact that that approximately 3,000 women and under five children die daily in the country.This implies that in each state represented here, approximately 2,400 women and children die every month, 80 per day, from causes which are preventable.

The Director General, Nigeria Governors Forum Secretariat, Mr. Asishana Okauru, pledged the Governors commitment to implementation of the PHCUOR policy.

“We are today here on a different but related together with a number of strategic partners this time focused on ensuring the political commitment of our governors to the implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy. Part of our objective is to ensure that boards are properly constituted and adequately funded,” he said.