To achieve an effective Primary Healthcare System and elicit optimal performance of Health workers, the Ondo State government has pledged commitment to their training and retraining.
The Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro pledged this commitment at the opening ceremony of a five day training of Medical Officers of Health of the Primary Healthcare Board at the University of Medical Sciences Ondo.
The Health Commissioner who said toward availing residents qualitative and affordable healthcare,the State Government had partnered the University of Medical Sciences to train about 100 Primary Healthcare Board workers.
Dr. Adegbenro stated that the emphasis around the world presently is on Primary Healthcare because they are closer to the grassroots and should be able to take care of minor health challenges before referring when it is beyond their ability.
He said it is not enough to provide infrastructures and equipment for the health facilities, but the manpower has to be given the Prerequisite skills to Mann them.
Dr. Adegbenro who thanked the University of Medical Sciences and the Primary Healthcare Board for the initiative, urged participants to take advantage of the training to sharpen their skills and learn about latest trends in their various fields.
In his goodwill message,the Vice Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences, Prof. Friday Okonofua said the training became imperative because acquisition of knowledge is a continuous process as well as the need for the Health Workers to be abreast of recent developments in their different fields.
The Vice Chancellor who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Adeseye Arogunjo said the Vice Chancellor Prof. Okonofua is very passionate about the University contributing it’s quota to the development of medical education, thus the training is aimed at strategically re-positioning Primary Healthcare in the state and country at large.
Doing an Overview of Community Health, Primary Healthcare and Health for All, one of the foremost Professors of community Health in Nigeria, Prof. Michael Asuzu expressed delight that the training is a vision of over forty years come true.
He opined that corruption and political distractions has crippled the real vision of the Primary Healthcare, thus the PHC is not functioning as it should and the grassroots is being disenfranchised.
The University Don criticised some government policies and interventions which do no really meet the need of the people because they not properly channeled and do not have the requisite intent.
If the system must succeed in his words, all health workers must acknowledge the importance of others and encourage each other in the interest of the masses, especially the rural populace.
Dr. Akindele Adebiyi who did an overview of Medical Officers of Health in the Past, Present and Future, sald failure of government policies at the level of implementation and that of leadership are clogs in the wheel of progress of achieving effective Primary Healthcare.
Dr. Adeniyi opined that the poverty discuss dictates what is happening in Nigeria and this narrative also dictates the pace of Public Health.
He outlined some of the roles of Medical Officers of Health to include,reducing inequities, advocacy among others which can be achieved through presentation of annual reports and community engagement.
In a paper tagged the states of the PHC in Ondo State : Framework, Achievement and Challenges,the Executive Secretary Primary Healthcare Development Board, Dr. Francis Akanbiemu said certain poor health indices such as high mother and child mortality and morbidity have remained high over the years despite the huge investment of government and Development partners.
In his words, there is a mismatch between investment and outcomes,there is focus on the urban at the expense of the rural as well as uneven distribution of health resources in favour of urban rather than the rural.
Dr. Akanbiemu outlined some other challenges limiting the Primary Healthcare System to include lack of proper health worker/ community relations, lack of appropriate community ownership and participation, lack of inter-sectorial collaboration, gross shortage of manpower, poor founding, poor integration of vertical programmes of the Federal and State Ministries of Health amoung others.
With all these mirage of problems, Dr. Akanbiemu explained that the PHC in Nigeria has not achieved much when compared to that of others African countries as infant mortality is still high and other health indices still very poor.
Nonetheless,the Executive Secretary said Ondo State which is one of the foremost states to set up the PHC is doing its best to turn the tide for its betterment thus it has achieved the PHC under one roof.
Maternal and child mortality and morbidity has been reduced considerably through the Abiye Safe motherhood program and other interventions and the present government is building on this foundation and taking it to the next level by putting in place a Save Our Children initiative (Agbomola).
The State government in the words of Dr. Akanbiemu has embarked on series of training programmes for PHC workers,such as training of Skilled Birth Attendants, Doctors and other Health Workers on Basic Life Saving Skills, Improving the Diagnostic skills of Lab scientists across the LGAs and the ongoing training of Medical Officers of Health in partnership with the University of Medical sciences.
Medical and Laboratory equipment have been distributed to health facilities across the 18 LGAs; Oxygen Concentrators, Pulse Oximeters, Nebulizers, Amble Bags, Antishock Garments and other equipment were distributed to PHCs to enable it respond effectively to emergencies.
Infrastructure upgrade is ongoing in PHCs across the 18 LGAs, operational guidelines have been developed for the PHCs and a Web Based Real Time integrated Supportive Supervision with Comcare Software to ensure the State has a functional PHC system that can deliver on its mandate.
Press Officer Health.