I am delighted to be here at this occasion to personally flag off one of the cardinal programmes of our administration –REVITALISATION OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTRES IN NIGERIA. My presence here today demonstrates our commitment to put health of Nigerians as a top priority. Our goal of revitalizing the Primary Health Care Centres is to ensure that quality basic health care service is delivered to majority of Nigerians irrespective of their location in the country. We shall focus more on the people living in the rural areas and the vulnerable population in our society such as women, children under 5years of age and the elderly in collaboration with national and international partners.
Let me state clearly that this revitalization programme is in alignment with the agenda of our great party- the All Progressive Congress (APC). We did promise to provide succor to the poor while at the same time providing for all other segments of the society. I am aware that out of pocket payment for health constitute over 70% of total health expenditure. This is more than the globally recommended 30–40%. Meanwhile, only less than 5% of the total population is covered by any kind of health insurance or risk protection mechanism, which is against the recommended 90% coverage by the World Health Organisation. Our vision is to reverse this ugly situation and promote shared prosperity.
In 2005, the World Health Assembly urged countries to develop strategies that will ensure that all people have access to the needed health care services without the risk of financial catastrophe at the point of accessing care. Nigeria was part of this global resolution. I am happy that we have commenced action towards ensuring Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for our people.
The need to provide our people with Universal Health Coverage led to the presidential summit on Universal Health Coverage and the symbolic commitment made by Nigeria to achieve UHC in March, 2014. This commitment was strengthened with the enactment of the National Health Act, 2014.
We must recognize that Universal Health Coverage is a destination and Nigeria is putting in place processes to achieve it. The two main game changers for achieving UHC is a functioning Primary Health Care System and a mandatory Universal Health Insurance Scheme.
Our administration in recognition of this, promised to revitalize one primary health Care Centre in each of the political wards in the country. In the short course, we have commenced the revitalization of one primary health care in each senatorial zone in the country. Our vision is to revitalise 10,000 primary health care facilities in Nigeria using a phased approach. The first phase of this approach is what we are flagging off today. It will signal the revitalization of the first 109 Primary Health Care facilities across the 36 states and the FCT.
Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre has been renovated as a model primary health care where quality health care services will be obtained at little or no cost to the beneficiaries. This is through the collaboration of Government (Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Federal Capital Development Administration and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital) and Partners such as General Electric and Sterling Bank.
This model which I am flagging off today is one of the models which will be replicated in all the states of the federation with slight modifications depending on the location. I want to assure all Nigerians that Government will continue to ensure that all Nigerians have access to quality basic health care services.
Accordingly, the provision in the National Health Act , 2014 for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund is in the process of being operationalized. I want to assure all Nigerians that our Government will fulfill all the promises made to Nigerians. It is my hope that with the provision of quality health care to our people, our citizens will be healthy and more productive.
The provision of quality health care service will reverse the poor health indices in the country. I am hopeful that our women will no more be dying during childbirth; our children will no more be dying as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or common ailment; access to health care will not be limited because of not having money to pay.
I want to commend the Honourable Minister of Health and his team for ensuring the flag off of this programme and to call on all our state governors to see this as a call to action to make revitalization of Primary Health Care Centres a cardinal agenda in their respective states. Our Government has also through the Saving One Million Lives Initiative provided 1.5 Million USD to each state government and FCT to ensure quality health care to women and children. I want to thank our development partners especially, the United States Government, the World Bank, the European Union and DFID for supporting the health sector in providing quality health service to our people.
I want to thank our National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Sterling Bank, General Electric for the renovation and provision of the necessary equipment including an ambulance at Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre. We have set up an accountability mechanism to ensure that this primary health care facility remains functional. As the CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME by flagging off this model PHC, I want to use this opportunity to call on all of you to ensure that this facility continues to work optimally by using it and ensuring that the health professionals are delivering quality services.
All members of the team, be it the FMoH, FCTA, the Local Government, NPHCDA, University of Abuja, our partners, Ward Development Committee and our Health Workers should play their part in ensuring the sustainability of this model PHC. I will also want to personally charge health workers to rededicate themselves to the service of our fatherland. Our government will continue to promote the welfare of all in the health sector.
On this note, I want to formally flag off the Primary Health Care revitalization programme and the commissioning of the renovated Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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