Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), said it has launched Roll-out of The Community-based Health Research Innovative-training and Service Programme (CRISP) to strengthen primary healthcare facilities in the country.
Ikengaonline reports that the programme is aimed at optimising human resources for health, reduce maternal and newbom mortality rates, and enhance the capacity of primary healthcare facilities. It is also aimed enhancing reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health services in the country.
This was disclosed by the the Executive Director and CEO National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Fraisal Shuaib during the maiden Quarterly Review Meeting of the South-East Traditional Rulers’ Committee (SETRC) on Primary Healthcare Delivery on Wednesday.
Speaking at the event, Shuaib while noting the import of the new programme implored the traditional rulers in South-East to strive in ensuring efficient delivery of healthcare services in their areas.
According to him, “the traditional rulers as custodians of cultural heritage possess the power to mobilise and unite communities as well as shape the health landscape in the region.
He said the monarch’s endorsement of primary healthcare initiatives can significantly impact public perception and behavior.
He encouraged the monarchs to use their positions and platforms to raise awareness about the importance of preventive care, early detection, and regular health check-ups.
Shuaib who was represented by the Director Disease Control and Immunization (DCI), Bassey Okposen, emphasised the benefits in timely intervention and the potential life-saving impact of health services.
He said adequate knowledge of healthcare services such as immunization when passed to the community members can empower them to take charge of their health and well-being.
Speaking further, the director implored the monarchs to engage with policymakers, government officials, and relevant stakeholders to advocate for increased investment in primary healthcare.
He said the traditional rulers are gatekeepers of their communities, hence in a unique position to promote health-seeking behavior. He also said their personal involvement and endorsement of primary healthcare services can enhance trust and confidence among the population.
“Collaborating with healthcare professionals and experts, we can disseminate accurate information about immunization, nutrition, family planning and other crucial aspects of primary healthcare. By dispelling doubts and promoting evidence-based practices, we can create a society that is well-informed and equipped to make informed health decisions.”
Also speaking, World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo said new vaccine known as Papillomanvirus (HPV) will be introduced into its routing immunization schedule for 2023 and 2024 in the country.
Mulombo who was represented by Chimuanya Igboekwu, said the HPV vaccines protects against the risk of cervical cancer, which according to him is the second most common cancer amongst women in Nigeria.
Mulombo said the vaccine introduction will be a significant step in alleviating avoidable illness and deaths due to cervical cancer.
He urged the monarchs to support the new vaccine introduction through availing the target age group 9-14 years in their communities when it becomes available.
He reassured that WHO will continue to work with the government and other partners to increase accessibility to newer vaccines for wider protection from vaccine presentable disease
Earlier while declaring the event open, Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, represented by his deputy, Onyeka Ibezim, emphasised the need for community ownership of health care system in the state.
The governor stressed that his administration has taken a bottom-top approach towards ensuring that healthcare system in the state is functional.
In an interview, Chairman South-East Council of Traditional Rulers, Lawrence Agubuzu, said the meeting could not take place last quarter because of the general election.
He said “We are here to show concern of traditional rulers of the South-East for the health of our people. As representatives of our people, whatever we decide, we make sure that the decision reach every corner of the South-East.”