By Moses Emorinken, Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that following the country’s feat in eradicating polio, it will begin the process of primary health care (PHC) system strengthening, which will ensure that service delivery is affordable, accessible and equitable.
It noted that it will leverage on the gains made during the country’s polio eradication to strengthen PHC systems from 2021 to 2030, and galvanise stakeholders on PHC financing.
The Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, made this known at the Agency’s Service/Productivity Awards and Send Forth Ceremony in Abuja
He said: “2020 is special and equally challenging; special, because it is the year Nigeria along with the African region was certified wild polio-free. Challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic that affected every aspect of our lives, with some of our staff getting infected with the disease.’’
“2020 will be remembered as the ‘year of polio eradication’. Finally, after almost 3 decades, Nigeria and indeed the Africa region was certified wild polio virus free. The achievement was a culmination of the labour and sacrifices of staff of NPHCDA and the defunct NPI over several decades.”
“In 2021 and beyond, we will be focusing on PHC system strengthening through a robust PHC revitalization agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria. My vision in the next 4 years is to strengthen PHC systems to deliver affordable, accessible and equitable PHC services to all Nigerians. It is in this light that we will be convening a global PHC Summit in 2021 with a theme “Strengthening PHC towards achieving universal health coverage in post-Polio, Peri-COVID era”.
He added, “I also want to congratulate our colleagues and friends that retired during the year. We are grateful that you retired to your families in good health, having served the country meritoriously. We will continue to benefit from the legacies you left behind and remain inspired by the pleasant moments you shared with us. You can be proud of your achievements and know that you are welcome to the Agency at any time.
“While we celebrate, it is also important to recall that in the 359 days since the last productivity award, we lost some of our staff to the cold hands of death in 2020, some during active duty. These colleagues contributed immensely to the work we did. We must continue to hold their memories in high esteem and keep praying for comfort and strength for the families they left behind.”