A motion seeking additional funding for Primary Health Care centres across Nigeria was adopted by the Senate on Thursday.
The Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial district, Oluremi Tinubu and 108 others in a motion stated that the primary health care in the country which was adopted in 1998 by National Health Policy as means of providing health services to rural dwellers, has collapsed.
The lawmaker while comparing the facilities of Nigeria’s health care centres to that of the World Health Organisation described it as poor in the world.
She added a corroborative index by the World Bank that the primary health in Nigeria was underfunded, noting that the situation has brought about the infrastructural deficit.
She further stated that people in the rural area need to have access to health care.
“Concerned that a lot of the problems in Nigeria’s Health sector can be traced to low performance of our Primary health care facilities. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Primary Health Care will meet 80-90% of a person’s health needs over the course of time,” she said.
Senator Chimaroke Nnamani representing Enugu East Senatorial District attributed the woes in the nation’s health sector to neglect by the government.
“Some of Nigeria’s health centres are orphans and nobody is laying claim to its ownership,” he said, pointing out that primary health care was supposed to be used as “nexus for integrated health services”.
Senator Rochas Okorocha representing Imo West Senatorial District called for free primary health care services as people at the grassroots could not afford to pay for services rendered to them.
“Primary health care is meant for people at the rural areas who cannot afford medical attention.”
“Government should make primary health services free, because the Constitution provides for government to protect lives and properties.”
Senator Adamu Aliero, in his statement, attributed the collapse of primary health care in Nigeria to the hijack of funds by the State Governors, but his counterpart, Senator Matthew Uroghide representing Edo North insisted that there was no synergy among the three tiers of government.
Uroghide further argued that funding was different from administration of health care centres, saying that it was time that both should be separated in order to have health care centres back.
“We need to draw a line between funding and administration of Primary health care. There is the misunderstanding that primary health care is a responsibility of the local government. Even tertiary health institutions have primary health care centres.”
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, while speaking emphasised that government should revive the ailing health care centres, noting that this was important to Nigeria constituents.