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Niger Gov’t reiterates commitment to attaining universal health coverage (Pictures)


Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has reiterated the state government’s commitment to work harmoniously with all development partners and stakeholders to attain universal health coverage.

According to Mary Noel-Berje, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sani Bello stated this at the commissioning of four legacy projects on the health sector which took place at the state’s secretariat in Minna.

The projects were the Office complex of the Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NSPHCDA), the unveiling of Primary Health Care Gallery, flag-off of Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) and the establishment of a State Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (SEMCHIC).

Commissioning the projects, the governor said Primary Health Care which is an entry point into Health Care System brought about the establishment of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) to coordinate and provide essential care to the people across the State through Primary Health Centres.

He said that the Agency has been housed in a temporary office since its establishment in 2011, which became inadequate hence the construction of a new office complex adding that the edifice will no doubt provide a conducive environment for the smooth running of the activities of the Agency.

The Governor also explained that the flag-off of CHIPS is a community-based intervention designed to improve on the village health workers concept by harmonizing all existing village health workers under one umbrella for effective community health intervention and services pointing out that it is a critical milestone and veritable tool for reaching settlements across the State.

“Evidently, we have recorded significant achievements in the transformation and restoration agenda of the PHC sector. All the existing 274 focal PHCs have been accredited to implement Basic Health Care Provision Funds Programme for the smooth and efficient running of services”, he said.

On the PHC gallery, the Governor said it is an innovative and creative initiative that will serve as a rich historic print and photographic reference of the activities of the Agency.

He commended the efforts of traditional leaders for their robust support to PHC and other Health Care initiatives and then called on all the 25 local government Chairmen to key in by supporting the PHC in the State.

Also speaking, the Niger State Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, commended the efforts of the Niger state Governor and that of his wife, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello for declaring a state of emergency in the health sector which he said has brought about a transformation of the healthcare system and will be of great benefit to the teaming residents of Niger State.

He disclosed that the present administration initiated 60 projects and inherited six from the previous administration and that 32 of the 60 projects have been completed while five out of the six inherited projects are also completed among other programmes and projects initiated by the administration.

Earlier, the Executive Director of NSPHCDA, Dr Ahmed Dangana said that the SPHCDA is propelled by the policy of PHC under one roof which seeks to reduce duplication and fragmentation in its management and the agency has moved to transform its long-existing single room workplace into a modern complex.

Dr Dangana applauded the efforts of Governor Sani Bello in ensuring that the state has a functional Primary Healthcare Center in each of the 274 wards in all the Local Government Areas of the state, adding that no administration has done better than the present administration.

He also commended all those who contributed immensely towards the actualisation of the projects in the areas of sensitisation, resource mobilisation, capacity building and service uptake.

In their goodwill messages, the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shua’ib who was represented by Dr UtibeAbasi Urua, as well as the representative of Estu Nupe and Chairman Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Pharmacist Yahaya Aliyu Maiyaki, who is also the Maiyakin Nupe, expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far in the PHC.

The representative of Bill and Melinda Gates, Malam Gombe Ibrahim, who spoke on behalf of all the development partners said NSPHCDA is setting a pace as other states are now coping from it adding that the agency has achieved 93% of PHC under one roof.

The CHIPS programme is a pilot scheme and will be in nine LGAs across the three senatorial zones of the state.

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