Kogi PHCDA holds inaugural board meeting, calls for improved funding

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The Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA) on Thursday called for adequate funding to enhance service delivery for residents of the state.

The agency’s board Chairperson, Mrs Ojonugwa Achimugu, made the call at its inaugural meeting in Lokoja on Thursday.

She congratulated members of the board and encouraged them to contribute toward improving healthcare in the state.

She said that the meeting was to educate board members about the concept of the primary health care, the roles, functions and responsibilities.

Achimugu urged members to collaborate and work for the good and wellbeing of the people of Kogi.

The Executive Director of KSPHCDA, Dr Abubakar Yakubu, said the maiden board meeting was an opportunity to make bold the confidence reposed in them by Gov. Yahaya Bello.

He said that the agency was established by a law passed by Kogi State House of Assembly and assented to by the then Gov. Idris Wada on April 10, 2012.

According to him, the agency’s mandate covers providing leadership, promoting and supporting the implementation of quality and sustainable Primary Health Care system through advocacy, resource mobilisation, partnerships, capacity building and collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

He said the baseline survey conducted in 2018 showed that Kogi had 838 Primary Health Centres (PHCs), adding that it had increased over time due to new facilities built through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and private organisations.

Yakubu highlighted some challenges facing the agency to include funding, permanent office accommodation, furniture and equipment, inadequate personnel, official vehicles and difficulties in achieving the PHC Under One Roof (PHCUOR) since 2020.

He said, “The issue of funding to carry out activities cannot be overemphasised; from campaigns, mobilisation, community engagement to fixed post and outreach sessions.

“There is need for timely funding, and I seize this opportunity to implore our honourable board members to use their political will and press for release of counterpart fund.

“There is need to also liase with the ex-officio members to volunteer their technical competence in service to humanity through PHC service delivery.”

He, however, said in spite of the challenges, the agency had made tremendous achievements in routine immunisation campaign, sustained collaborations with stakeholders, more health facilities, improved service delivery.

The Lead Consultant to the agency, Dr Mary Onoja-Alexander, presented a paper titled: “Concept of Primary Health Care and the Role of the Board in Kogi State.”

She said government has the responsibility to take care of the health of the people through the provision of adequate measures.

She explained that the PHCs had eight essential components such as: education about common health, maternal and child health care, promotion of proper nutrition, basic sanitation and adequate water supply.

Others include immunisation against infectious diseases, prevention and control of locally-endemic diseases and appropriate treatment for common diseases and injuries.