Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government yesterday said it had changed the structure of healthcare funding in the country, with primary healthcare gulping about 64 per cent of the funds in the health sector.
The new funding structure indicates an increase in the funding from 18 per cent to 64 per cent, according to official report.
The rise in funding, according to the report, is linked to several interventions by the federal government on polio, vaccination, Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC), nursing and midwifery among other programmes.
Speaking at the launch of Technical Support Programme (TSP) for the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said it was imperative in focusing on the primary health care sub-sector given the challenge of accessibility and affordability in rural areas.
He said: â€œWe need to turn things around to focus on primary health care where our people go to and that is the facility closest to our people.
â€œSo investing in PHC is the right way to go. Over the last two years, we have changed the funding structure and the ED will testify to the fact that the agency is gulping the largest chunk of our allocation.
â€œWhen we started, it was from 18 percent, and the last moved to 64 per cent. So the ED, you are the prime centre of attraction, and I pray that you continue to deliver.â€
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, decried the increasing cases of shortage of technical support across the 36 states and FCT.
Shuaib explained: â€œToday, states continue to struggle with cold chain maintenance and delivery of vaccines in the right quantity to the right place and at the right time; shortage of human resources for health among others.
â€œThe persistence of these challenges clearly highlights the need for the NPHCDA to improve on the delivery of its mandate to provide policy direction, technical and logistics support to states and local government areas (LGAs) to implement PHC services across the 36 states and FCT.â€
An official of the Bill and Medlinda Gates Foundation, Jenny Segueira, also tasked government to improve its tracking mechanism in the implementation of PHC programmes.