12 Dec Nigeria: Federal Government Commits to Establishing 17,000 Primary Healthcare Centers for Nigerians
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
In a significant commitment to enhancing healthcare accessibility across Nigeria, the federal government has announced its determination to establish a minimum of 17,000 fully operational primary healthcare centers nationwide. This declaration comes as part of a broader initiative aimed at achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). On Tuesday, the government, under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, will collaborate with states and health development partners to formalize this commitment through a pact, coinciding with the observance of Universal Health Coverage Day on December 12.
The Coordinating Ministry of Health and Social Development, Prof. Ali Pate, expressed this commitment during a pre-event press briefing in Abuja. Emphasizing the government’s dedication to attaining Universal Health Coverage, Prof. Pate underscored the importance of providing equitable and optimal healthcare outcomes for all citizens.
The event served to shed light on the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative (NHSRII) and its pivotal role in realizing UHC for the country. Prof. Pate highlighted the government’s strategic approach to achieving this vision, focusing on expanding the number of primary healthcare centers from 8,000 to an ambitious 17,000. This increase reflects the administration’s unwavering determination to enhance access to basic healthcare services across the nation.
The NHSRII comprises the Basic Healthcare Provision SWAp (Sector-Wide Approach) and the Nigeria Healthcare Industrialization Program. Prof. Pate emphasized the need for a multisectoral, whole-of-government approach to achieve Universal Health Coverage and better health for all Nigerians.
Detailing the comprehensive strategy, he outlined key components, including the assessment of existing facilities, infrastructure improvement, ensuring an adequate healthcare workforce, and active community engagement for feedback. Recognizing the challenges of functionality in existing healthcare facilities, Prof. Pate assured that the government is committed to addressing these concerns as part of the implemented strategy.
The expansion from 8,000 to over 17,000 primary healthcare centers is not merely a numerical increase but a dedication to realizing President Tinubu’s vision for improved access to basic healthcare services in Nigeria. The government acknowledges existing challenges and underscores its commitment to implementing a strategy that addresses these concerns comprehensively.
As Nigeria marks Universal Health Coverage Day, this initiative signifies a crucial step towards ensuring equitable access to quality healthcare for all citizens. The government’s pledge to strengthen the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund and increase the number of primary healthcare centers aligns with the objectives outlined in the National Health Act.
In conclusion, the commitment to healthcare expansion, infrastructure enhancement, and community involvement reflects a holistic approach to achieving Universal Health Coverage and advancing the nation’s health sector. The collaborative efforts between the federal government, states, and health development partners underline a shared commitment to improving the overall health and well-being of the Nigerian population.