By Obinna Ogbonnaya, Abakaliki
The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday urged Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha to prioritize and continue to allocate more resources towards revitalization of Primary Health Care services in the state which they said remains the key towards achieving universal health care coverage.
UNICEF is currently partnering Imo State Government in developing the minimum service package for the Imo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ISPHCDA) to enable it function optimally.
A UNICEF Health Specialist, Dr. Ifeyinwa Anyanyo said that the four-day technical stakeholders meeting also progressed to another two-day working group held for the development of the Minimum Service Package at Trig Point hotel, Awka, Anambra State.
Dr. Anyanyo also reaffirmed UNICEF commitment in supporting states in the development of the MSP to facilitate the revitalisation and effective delivery of Primary Health Care services in the state .
In her remark during the meeting, she noted that efforts to strengthen primary health care service delivery should be sustained towards reduction of maternal and under-five mortality rate in the country and encouraged all participants to put in their best to produce a workingdocument for the state.
The Chairman of Imo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, ISPHCDA Dr. N. Nwakaudu in his keynote address highlighted the significance of the meeting which he said was basically to declare a set of minimum standard in areas of health infrastructure, human capacity, financial resources.
According to him, other areas includes, provision of essential drugs and to further define the minimum standard for PHC structures in terms of system, staffing, equipment, service delivery and at the local government level to improve access and quality of services in the state.
The Executive Secretary of ISPHCDA, Dr. Emma Emukah in his opening remarks noted that part of the objectives of the meeting was to develop minimum package service for the primary health care staff in the state starting from ward, local government to state level.
He explained that the services that should be rendered at the various health posts, health clinics and PHC centers, including what and where and at what point health issues should be referred to when the need arises.
According to Dr. Emukah, the document so generated would be used toguide the implementers on manpower needed, activities to be implemented, and other operating procedures.
He further stated that there was need to specify strong referral system, establish strong linkage with the training institutions such as School Of Health Technology; to determine minimum standard for Training and Practice of its students that will guide health workers practising in the facilities for effective and efficient primary health care delivery services in the state.
He commended the Imo State Government and UNICEF for their efforts in the promotion of the health of mothers and under-five infants.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Imo State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Hon. Uche Oguwuike expressed the willingness, commitment and support of the House on the PHCDA.
He encouraged the team to sustain the efforts and expressed his appreciation on behalf of the state government and Imo State House of Assembly of adequate support. The legislator further declared that the Imo state house of Assembly would be readily available to provide any legislative input to ensure its quality services.
The Imo State Immunization Officer as well as the anchor person for MSP, Mr. David Onyewuchi said that the expected document was to guide PHC services in the state as well as to bring all health facilities come under one roof for easy supervision under the Executive Secretary of PHCDA.