The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that 148 women die daily in Nigeria from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.
The agency explained that the majority of deaths are from conditions that could have been prevented had women received the right medical care throughout their pregnancies and during birth at health centres or hospitals.
The executive director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, stated this in an interaction with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday on “Overview of NPHCDA’s Activities (2017 – 2020).”
Shuaib reiterated the goal of the National Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (NEMCHIC) of the agency aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality.
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He explained that both factors were strongly dependent on the availability of skilled birth attendants.
Shuaib said that the agency has renovated about 4,000 primary healthcare centres across the country and called on state and local governments to employ medical professionals in the centres.
He noted that “through the Reach Every Ward with Adequate Skilled Birth Attendants (REWSBA) strategy, skilled birth attendants will be mobilised, trained, equipped, deployed, supported and retained for PHC service delivery in every ward.”
On the feat recorded with the eradication of wild polio virus in Nigeria, he said that the agency leverage on it to strengthen primary healthcare delivery services in the country, on a sustainable basis.
Shuaib said that the agency recorded an unprecedented feat for the country on 20th August when Nigeria was certified wild polio-free after almost three decades’ journey.
“With the polio-free certification, the attention of the NPHCDA is now shifted to adapting lessons learnt from the initiatives used by injecting the experiences and resources to sustainably strengthen the primary healthcare delivery services,” he said.
The helmsman of the health agency stressed the need for his agency to continue “to engage in developing a pragmatic PHC delivery model to ensure coverage for the poor and vulnerable and reduce maternal and child deaths.”
He explained that the agency would achieve it by strengthening governance and accountability.
On the NPHCDA’s immunisation drive, Dr Shuaib said that the agency hoped to attain 80 per cent immunisation rates by 2028.
According to him, “we will make NPHCDA visible, credible, accountable and reliable partner to all our stakeholders, and we will revamp the financial system.”
He hinted that the N13.2billion received by its gateway of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund has been disbursed to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Shuaib, however, said that of all the 36 states and FCT Abuja that received the funds, only Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Niger, Osun and FCT had commenced disbursement to primary health centres.
He said that in driving the Universal Health Coverage, NPHCDA would focus on attaining the set target of 10,000 fully-equipped and functional primary healthcare facilities in Nigeria, and ensuring the resilience of the PHC system while leveraging on the Basic Health facility
He said that there will be increased efforts to expand the availability of skilled birth attendants to help ensure a drastic reduction in the rate of maternal mortality in the country.