By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) has rated the Niger State Primary Health Care Scheme high, describing it “as one of the best three in Nigeria”.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently directed NIPSS to carry out an inspection of the performance of the primary health care sector in the country and report back to him, so that the federal government would know the areas it would intervene to improve its performance.
Speaking in Minna on Wednesday, NIPSS Team Leader, Commodore John Odubanjo, said: “Niger State is chosen being one of the best states so far in healthcare delivery and indeed after going round the state, we realised Niger State is one of the leading states in healthcare delivery in Nigeria.”
Odubanjo, who exchanged views with Governor Abubakar Sani Bello at the Government House, added that the team is impressed with the facilities and healthcare system in this state.
He assured the governor that a copy of the report would be made available to the state at the end of the study so as to enable the government improve on the grey areas identified.
The NIPSS team leader also assured the state government that with what the team had seen, Niger State would be one of the states that would be recommended to the president for further assistance.
In his remarks, Governor Bello restated the commitment of the administration to the improvement of the primary healthcare centres in the state, adding that despite the present challenges, the state is doing its best to improve facilities in the primary health care sector.
“The importance of primary healthcare centres across the state cannot be overemphasised. We have noticed that the absence of primary healthcare centres in the state in the past left a heavy burden on the General Hospitals.
“This for a long time now has affected the capacities of health care workers and doctors to cater for the overwhelming number of patients as the number of doctors per patient has become worrisome,” the governor said.
Bello said it was for these reasons that the administrations decided to put the primary healthcare centre under one roof which is designed to provide at least one primary healthcare in each of the 274 wards in the state.
He said the policy has so far drastically reduced the pressure on General Hospitals across the state, but lamented the high mortality rate in the state.