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Expert urges government to improve standard of PHC in Nigeria

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Dr Towoju Olumunyiwa, a medical practitioner, has called on government to focus more on upgrading the standard of the Primary Health Care system in the country.

Olumunyiwa an obstetrician at the National Hospital, Abuja, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday.

Primary Health Care as conceptualised by the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978 is a grassroots approach towards universal and equitable health care for all.

The model was to address the main health problems in communities all over the world in order to achieve universal health care by providing accessible, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services.

It is supposed to be the first level of contact of individuals, families and communities with the national health system.

This laudable scheme became a model for other African countries to set the course for their future.

However, forty years after, and rather sadly, Nigeria is among the third worst in the world based on certain health indicators.

According to him, primary health care in Nigeria has not been accorded adequate attention in terms of the standard of medical and infrastructural resources.

He said it was regrettable that the primary health care system in the country had retarded progressively.

“The Nigerian healthcare system has suffered several down-falls, it is long overdue.

“We now have the opportunity to make it better; Nigeria must rise above the present score.

“Inadequate tracking techniques in the public health sector can lead to huge health insecurity, and hence endanger national security,” he said.

The medical practitioner said that various reforms had been put forward by the government to address the wide ranging issues in the health care system.

Olumunyiwa added that such reforms were yet to be implemented at both the state and local government levels.

He appealed to government at all levels to accord priority attention to health matters by increasing  budgetary allocation to the sector and promptly releasing funds for implementation of health programmes and policies.

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