Abuja, Nov 14, 2019 The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says it has revitalised 4,000 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the country, to enhance access to health services.
Dr Bulama Garuba, NPHCDA’s Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, disclosed this to the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja on the sidelines of the 3rd Annual Summit of the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage (UHC)..
He said that 10,000 PHCs would be revitalised across the country by the agency under its PHCs Revitalisation Agenda
Bulama said that the agency took cognisance of the fact that PHCs were key to achieving Universal Health Coverage in the country.
According to him, the PHCs revitalisation would herald unprecedented transformation in the health sector with impressive impact on UHC.
central to meeting Sustainable Develoment Goals (SDGs).
He said the NPHCDA would continue to adopt innovative strategies to drastically improve health indices in the country.
there was need for Nigerians to be prepared to prevent, detect, manage and contain any epidemic.
The director said that with the support of the Federal Government and donor partners, the NCDC has identified some gaps in the country’s health security capacity and was working towards mitigating the gaps.
She disclosed that NCDC and the NPHCDA would continue to work closely with state ministries of health and other partners to prevent, detect and respond to yellow fever cases.
Ilori advised Nigerians to ensure they were vaccinated against such diseases.
On his part, Dr Olumide Okunola, Senior Health Specialist, Nutrition and Population, International Finance Corporation World Bank Group, told NAN, that with adequate precautions no epidemic would become pandemic.
“if we prepare in building a resilient health sector that is able to withstand shocks.”
According to him, emergency preparedness must become a part of national and state budgets.
” The committees of health from states should note that and make sure it is reflected in their state budgets.
“Nigeria is surrounded by borders with several countries. Every second, somebody is crossing in and out of the country through those borders.
“Are we prepared for whatever illness the person might bring into the country?”
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed
WHO, a veritable partner in achieving Nigeria’s polio-free status, NPHCDA Director affirms
the independent African Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication (ARCC) reviewed and accepted the complete national documentation of Nigeria, granting the country wild poliovirus-free status.
The determination was based on field verification visits to the country over the past year, with the final visit to Nigeria conducted in March 2020.
During the visits, the ARCC conducted thorough analysis of Nigeria’s documentation and field visits to states to validate programme key aspects, including polio surveillance, immunisation and laboratory capacity.
The executive director then assured the WHO Representative that Nigeria would not rest on its oars until high coverage for all vaccine preventable diseases are addressed.
He informed him that Nigeria recently achieved 70 per cent coverage in routine immunisation (RI) based on the 2019 SMART survey result, an indication that the priority of the agency to strengthen RI is on the right path to achieving success.
He also alluded that the feat would not have been possible without WHO’s technical support and leadership.
He restated that “the government’s vision and priorities for revitalisation of Primary Healthcare Centres toward Universal Health Coverage, aligns perfectively with WHO’s role.”
He said: “it was a pleasant coincidence that I arrived on the day of the acceptance of Nigeria’s documentation for polio-free status.
“I assure you that we’ll sustain the gains and further build on the achievements; for this to happen, we’ll rely on NPHCDA’s support.”
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Rotary wants maternal, perinatal death surveillance, response implementation institutionalised
The Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH) has called for institutionalisation of the implementation of the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MPDSR, is a policy of the Federal Government aimed at improving quality of care of women of child-bearing age.
Prof. Emmanuel Lufadeju, National Coordinator, Rotary RMCH, who spoke on Thursday during a webinar workshop series organised by the Rotary Action Group for RMCH, noted that MPDSR was aimed at improving maternal and child health indices in the country.
Rotary Action Group for RMCH organised the workshop with support from Rotary International and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Lufadeju said that MPDSR would need to be institutionalised by states for effective outcomes.
According to him, experts confirmed it as one of the most useful policies and the most effective tool of the Federal Government to reduce maternal and infant mortality.
He said: “Having a programme like the MPDSR, a policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve quality of care of women of child-bearing age, we need to institutionalise its implementation, and the way to do that is to propose a bill at the National Assembly.
“Its aim is to monitor maternal and infant delivery process to document deaths as a result of child birth and pregnancy complications and to be able to determine the causes of mortalities and to respond by instituting corrective/ preventive interventions at the facility, community and private levels.”
According to him, emerging evidence from practical lessons learnt from the operations of the web-based electronic platform for data management on MPDSR across Nigeria since 2015 are laudable.
“There is a suggestion that it has the potential to accelerate rapid reduction in maternal and perinatal deaths in the country.
“Rotary International (RI) initiated a stakeholders meeting, which was chaired by the Director of Reproductive Health, at the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).
“That meeting was attended by many organisations including UNFPA, NPHCDA, PPFN, SOGHON, and at that meeting, it was agreed that legislation should be proposed on MPDSR and that this legislation should be promoted by RI because we initiated the process,’’ he said.
The Rotary RMNH coordinator said that the bill, sponsored by RI and Rotary Action Group for Maternal and Perinatal, had gone through its first reading.
He, However, explained that in order to establish sustainability of the MPDRS programme, it must be domesticated.
Dr Nicholas Lack, RMCH Consultant, spoke at the event on “The Nigerian Obstetric Quality Assurance Network and its contribution to MPDSR’’.
He explained that, with the NOQA-Network, the health system was digitised and the network covered all levels of health care.
“NOQA-Network gives objective data, enables efficient intervention, embraces MCH, MPDSR and family planning. It is hosted in Nigeria and run by experts and the MPDSR Committee.”
Dr Samuel Oyeniyi, Deputy Director, Safemotherhood, FMoH, and National Desk Officer of MPDSR, said that integration of NOQA Network into the MPDSR Family Planning Component was key.
According to him, the importance of integration of NOQA include enhancing coordination, improving partnership, cost effectiveness, increasing efficiency and work synergy, and reducing maternal and newborn deaths,’’ he said.
Edited By: ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
Cervical Cancer: FG to introduce HPV immunisation on national scale by 2021
Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says the agency will commence immunisation against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) for cervical cancer in 2021.
He made this known at a Virtual National Stakeholders’ Forum on the Elimination of Cervical Cancer on Friday, organised by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).
The virtual meeting was organised by NCCP in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health International Vaccine Access Centre and Direct Consulting and Logistics.
Shuaib said the immunisation would be on a national scale by first quarter of 2021 to eliminate cervical cancer.
According to him, what should concern stakeholders is how to eliminate barriers to availability of HPV vaccine that has been around for over 10 years.
He said “we have to crush the barriers that prevent us from accessing this vaccine, such as HPV when it is available anywhere in the world.
“Africa should not always wait for decades to get solution that is available globally, not just in Africa but in Nigeria specifically.
“We at the NPHCDA are committed; we are committed to deliver HPV vaccine to our communities,” he said.
The executive director added that the agency was determined to the final stretch of getting vaccine to the people, and that nothing could stop from achieving that.
“It took a long time for us to get here, we are going to finish and cross the line like we did for polio eradication last week.
“The Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the NPHCDA, is in the forefront of driving local vaccine production through our joint venture agreement with May and Baker.
“It is one of the interventions that FMoH is putting in place to make sure that we don’t need to wait for decades to prevent such terrible disease,” he said.
Shuaib said the agency had improved routine immunisation in the past two years, doubling coverage from 32 per cent in 2016 to 67 per cent in 2019.
“You can be sure that once we introduce HPV vaccine in the first quarter 2021, we will ramp up coverage in the first approach.
“We are building the capacity of primary health workers so that they will be able to carry out simple screening and breast examination for breast cancer.
“But also on annual basis, we are trying to build the capacity of health workers so that they can do simple examinations of the cervix if there is any indication that they are abnormal.
“The workers will then be able to encourage women to do Pap Smear test on annual basis.”
The executive director said NPHCDA was passionate about so many things, noting that “introducing vaccine against cervical cancer and other cancers is a priority for us.
“It is priority and ensuring screening for cervical cancer is a model we are introducing as re-emerging in the Post COVID-19 era.”
He commended Dr Zainab Bagudu, the founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation for her advocacy work on cancer.
Bagudu, the First Lady of Kebbi, in her remarks said the world was moving toward elimination of cancer and that Nigeria should not be left behind.
She said that “for us in Kebbi, we may not have high technology, but we have the awareness and the human resources at Primary Health Care centres.
“We are waiting for the vaccine to commence and support our work in that area, and we will be pleased to partner with all to achieve our goals.”
Dr Chizoba Wonodi of the John Hopkins International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC), said the objectives of the meeting was to share latest updates on the global push toward the elimination of cancer and promote increased understanding of the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders at all levels.
The meeting was also to review progress on the challenges to achieving the objectives set out in the National Strategic Plan and to proffer solutions to address the challenges in implementing the plan, she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum is planned to hold in two phases; the virtual phase and later an in-person phase after the COVID-19 lockdown is fully lifted.
Cervical cancer is a deadly disease that affects over 14,000 women and 8,000 deaths due to late presentation at health facilities annually, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in women aged 15 to 44 years in Nigeria.
The main cause of cervical cancer is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Evidence showed that HPV could be eliminated using three interventions: HPV vaccination, screening for pre-cancerous lesions and, treatment of invasive cancer.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Health correspondents applaud Nigeria on polio-free certification
The Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) has congratulated Nigeria for being certified polio-free by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication (ARCC).
On June 18, ARCC classified Nigeria as wild polio virus free.
ANHEJ gave the commendation in a statement, signed by its President, Mr Hassan Zaggi, on Sunday in Abuja.
According to the statement, the achievement is a historic moment in Nigeria’s history.
“We also congratulate the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for its consistent efforts since the war against the polio virus started many years ago.
“The NPHCDA under its current Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, has made Nigeria proud by improving the health indices of the country.
“Shuaib brought with him the determination, zeal and focus which has changed Nigeria’s once low immunisation status to one that has been commended by the international community.
“This is one effort that has brought to an end the polio virus in Nigeria.
“He has also brought transparency and accountability to the NPHCDA, which engendered trust and confidence from our international donors, thereby attracting the needed support that got Nigeria to this state.”
ANHEJ also applauded partners, including Rotary International, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, traditional rulers, the media and other critical stakeholders for the collective efforts that made the polio-free status possible.
The association called for more efforts by stakeholders to sustain the polio free status.
“We also call on the Federal Government to improve funding for the health sector so that the country’s maternal and infant mortality can continue to drop,” it stated.
Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)