Home Health Gov. AbdulRazaq Flags-off fresh Initiative to Deepen Primary Healthcare in Kwara

Gov. AbdulRazaq Flags-off fresh Initiative to Deepen Primary Healthcare in Kwara

- UNICEF, WHO, and others acknowledge Governor’s strides in the health sector

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Gov Abdulrazak

Grace Egila

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday flagged off the state’s Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) program to strengthen access to primary healthcare.

The event was held at Kwara State’s Banquet Hall in Ilorin.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye in a statement quoted him saying “Part of the efforts at revitalizing the system is demand generation for the services available within the Primary HealthCare Facilities. The careful selection and training of these 200 CHIPS and 40 Community Engagement Focal Persons will go a long way in deepening quality healthcare delivery to the remotest corners of the State.

“As a government, we are making deliberate efforts to ensure that our Primary HealthCare facilities are able to perform their roles in meeting the healthcare demands of their immediate communities.

“To achieve this, we have embarked on massive rehabilitation and upgrade of Primary Healthcare facilities, including the construction of new ones where necessary.

“We have also embarked on massive recruitments of qualified hands and trained existing ones to manage our various health facilities across the state.”

According to the statement, the governor said his administration has also commenced the payment of minimum wage to various categories of workers, including health workers in the state.

“On inception of office, we paid a huge backlog of counterpart funds. We have also been able to sustain this,” he added.

“We set up a vibrant State Taskforce on Immunization and PHC chaired by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, “The outcome of these steps is reflected in our health indices.”

AbdulRazaq commended the health team in the sector, including the State Primary Health Care Development Agency led by Dr. Nusirat Elelu, for their good job.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health Dr. Raji Rasaq, stated that the CHIPS program is a great achievement and a big step in establishing sustainable structures in consonance with the national health care policy direction and the policy thrust of this administration.

“The goal of CHIPs is to expand access to the underserved populations and work towards raising awareness and stimulating demand for primary health care services by the community. The role of community-based health workers residing in the community in attaining this cannot be overemphasized,” he said.

“Today, we shall therefore be joining other states in the country where a comprehensive link has been established between the primary health and various health programs to leverage existing structures toward implementation of critical interventions for the attainment of common goals and objectives.”

 Dr. Rasaq said the community workers would provide basic services in their respective communities, ultimately linking the communities with services in primary health care facilities.

Executive Secretary of Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency Dr. Nusirat Elelu said the state is trying to re-imagine Primary Healthcare to a fit-for-purpose PHC as envisioned by Governor AbdulRazaq who has shown unprecedented commitment and leadership in revamping the PHC system in the state.

“Every day Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five children. Community-based program is the most effective option to reduce mortality and the least expensive presently available,” she said.

“One of the community-based interventions is the CHIPS with the goal of contributing to maternal and child morbidity and mortality by creating demands for and equitably increasing access to essential primary health care services.”

Representatives of WHO, UNICEF, AFENET, Rotary International, and other development partners commended AbdulRazaq administration for the huge investment in the health sector which has brought positive indices to the sector within the last three years.

The State Coordinator World Health Organization Saliu Abdullahi said: “We at WHO are very much aware of your laudable programs to the people of Kwara State, especially in the area of disease prevention and outbreak responses. We are equally aware of the giant strides your government has made by improving the state health indices from where it was to the current state by making available the needed resources.

“We are aware that your government has renovated more than 100 health facilities and you have also employed more than 200 health workers.”

The Representative of UNICEF Mobolaji Abdulkadir disclosed that “UNICEF supports the state in the area of vaccine logistics and special mobilization to make sure that none of our children come down with vaccine derivable diseases.” I want to assure you of UNICEF’s continued support to Kwara State.”

The flag-off was attended by top government officials and critical partners in the health sector, including Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, traditional rulers, development partners, as well as health workers.

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