Ugwuanyi urges Enugu residents to access quality, affordable healthcare in Type-3 PHC facilities
By KENNETH ONYEKWERE, ABAKALIKI
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has urged residents, especially rural dwellers to access quality and affordable healthcare through functional Type-3 Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) facilities and other PHC centres.
He made the call while flagging off the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) at Type-3 Modal PHC facility at Ibagwa-Aka community in Igboeze South Local Government Area in Enugu State on Saturday.
The week-long programme, meant for nursing mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children to access comprehensive and free healthcare, is being organised by the Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Other partners involved in the programme included Ugo Touch of Life Foundation (U-TOLF), Family Health International, UNICEF, WHO and the Nigerian Red Cross among others.
Ugwuanyi, represented by Chief Vita Abba, the House of Representative Candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Nsukka/Igboeze Federal Constituency, said that his administration had made giant strides in the welfare and wellbeing of rural people in the state.
According to him, this well-equipped and functional Type-3 PHC facility we are in, with two resident doctors, 18 other healthcare staff, good water reticulation and a generating set for 24/7 electricity, is replicated in six other rural communities in the state.
“We have also completed three more, ready for inauguration, while about seven others are in the pipeline to be built in rural areas for the benefit of our rural dwellers and the downtrodden that cannot easily afford expensive healthcare of major cities,” he said.
The governor, however, urged rural dwellers to keep patronising and accessing the quality and comprehensive healthcare at the Type-3 PHC facilities as well as over 260 functional PHCs dotted in communities within the state.
“As a responsive government, we built these facilities, employed health workers in them, supplied the drugs and got assistance from our health partners to ensure these PHC facilities function optimally for the benefit of our rural people.
“We want our people to access it and take advantage of it, especially the free drugs, medical consumables and care that will be given out in this special week throughout all PHC facilities in the state,” he said.
Earlier, Executive Secretary of ENS-PHCDA, Dr George Ugwu, said that Ugwuanyi would be remembered for “being the father of PHC by signing modern PHC law, making the state partaker in national PHC programmes, building Type-3 PHC facilities, renovating former PHC facilities among others”.
Ugwu said that the governor had recently engaged 20 health workers, which included two resident doctors, four senior nurses and midwives and other health workers in each of the functional Type-3 PHC facilities and employed another number of health workers to man 260 functional PHCs.
“He also engaged 100 nurses and midwives as ad-hoc staff to support the existing staff of all the PHC facilities in the state, even as he restored the functionality of over 260 PHCs scattered in each political ward of the state; thus, making healthcare provision and accessibility closer to the rural people.
“By working hard to place about 260 PHC facilities in the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), via making them functional as well as retraining all PHC staff; the state government secured a quarter allowance of N300,000 from the BHCPF fund.
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“This allowance has been paid for three quarters now, while the fourth quarter payment is close by. Thus, one can say that they would be receiving over one million per the 260 PHC facilities within one year,” he said.
On the week programme, Ugwu that the ENS-PHCDA and its partners would de-worm all children that visit PHC centres/facilities throughout the state as well as provide them with vitamin A and other medical consumables free-of-charge.
The executive secretary said that nursing and pregnant women would receive quality health and nutritional talk in each facility every day as well as other medical consumables meant to improve their health conditions free-of-charge.
“We are so grateful to U-TOLF Foundation for the donation of monumental volume of drugs such as worm expellers, vitamin-A and medical consumables meant for children, pregnant and nursing mothers. We highly appreciate the governor’s wife U-TOLF Foundation for supporting PHC greatly and consistently.
“We also thank the NPHCDA, WHO, UNICEF Family Health International and Nigerian Red Cross among many others partnering with the state government for making this Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week a huge success,’ he added.
Speaking, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Ikechukwu Obi, represented by the state Director of Public Health, Dr Boniface Okolo, thanked the government for the programme, noting that the health of children and women determines the overall health of a state.
In a goodwill message from one of the partners, Dr Clinton Eze-Okoroikpa, State Team Lead for Family Health International, said that his organization wanted to make an impact on the lives of the people by keying into the programme.
“For over 30 years, Family Health International has been supporting the health and wellbeing of rural dwellers in the country and being part of this programme showcases what we know how to do best,” Eze-Okoroikpa said.
Mr Richard Asogwu, representative of WHO, commended the government for robust investment in healthcare and uplift of the health of rural dwellers, adding that the WHO would continue to support Enugu State in all its health programmes and projects.
In a welcome address, Chairman of Igboeze South Local Government Area, Chief Vitus Okechi, lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for building and making functional a Type-3 model PHC facility as well as renovating and revitalizing other PHCs back to life in the area.
“To support our health-loving governor, the council has decided to offset all anti-natal and pregnancy delivery costs of all pregnant women in this Type-3 PHC facility. So, I declared this facility pregnancy and newborn-friendly,” Okechi said.
One of the beneficiaries of free anti-natal care, Mrs Ijeoma Okoroafor, thanked the chairman and Gov. Ugwuanyi for the rare gesture, adding: “I will surely appreciate PDP-led government and Gov. Ugwuanyi going for Senate by voting for them on Saturday, Feb. 25”.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Joyce Akah, thanked Ugwuanyi and Okechi for caring for the downtrodden people, “even in this hard time”.
“I will definitely mobilise my family members, relatives and friends to vote for Gov. Ugwuanyi for Senate, Abba for Representative and Okechi for state House of Assembly and other PDP candidates. One good turn deserves another,” Akah said.
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