Senate Decries Poor State of Primary Health Centres

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Oluremi Tinubu
  • Mourns 50 killed in Benue tanker explosion

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate thursday decried the poor state of primary health care centres located across the country’s 774 local government areas (LGAs).

The upper legislative chamber also decried the recent loss of 50 lives to petrol tanker explosion in Benue state.

The Senators at plenary took turns to condemn the bad state of the numerous primary health centres in the country.

This is sequel to a motion titled “The need for increased funding to primary health care centres,” sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) and co-sponsored by 105 other Senators.

Leading the debate, Tinubu noted that primary health care is a community-based initiative that provides health care services to communities.

She also added that access to health care for all is only possible through prevalence and accessibility of Primary Health Care.

Tinubu expressed concern that a lot of the problems in the country’s health sector could be traced to low performance of Primary Health Care facilities.

She further expressed concern that the World Bank Service Delivery Indicators Survey showed that though available, performance of the Primary Health Care is hampered by lack of financial resources, infrastructure deficit, lack of drugs, equipment and vaccines.

Most Senators who contributed to the motion agreed that urgent step should be taken to revive the moribund primary health centres in the country.

The Senators unanimously resolved to prevail on the federal government to take measures to increase budgetary allocation for the management of primary health care.

Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, while commending his colleagues for supporting the motion recalled that in the Eighth Senate a bill for additional funding for primary health centres in the country was passed.

He noted that it was through the bill that additional N60 billion was attracted to fund primary health centres in parts of the country.

Also yesterday, the upper legislative chamber condemned the killing of over 50 people in Benue State, following the explosion of a petrol tanker in Gwer East Local Government Area.

This was sequel to a motion titled “Benue tanker explosion: urgent need to curb incessant explosions of petroleum tankers in Nigeria,” sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Orker-Jev.

Oker-Jev in his lead debate, revealed that over 100 people who sustained different degrees of injuries were battling for survival in various hospitals across the state.

Contributing, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, called for a ban of underage truck drivers across the major highways in the country.

He recalled how as governor of Abia State, he intercepted a truck operated by a 16-year old boy and had to stop him.

While urging the government to release funds for the dualisation of the Keffi-Lafia-Makurdi-Enugu road, where the incident happened, the Senate called on the management of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to quickly assist the affected families.

The Senate is also to constitute an adhoc committee to liaise with relevant agencies, organisations and stakeholders to identify the remote and immediate cause of incessant petroleum tanker explosions in Nigeria.