Need for strong primary healthcare leads to creation of ASPHCDA says board chairman
By Nnedinma Okeke :
Umunze (Orumba South LGA), March 26, 2020 (MOI) It is the need for strong primary healthcare systems that has been responsible for creation of State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies across the country.
Prof Josephat Ogbuagu, Board Chairman, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), said this during the inauguration ceremony of Local Government Health Authority (LGHA) Advisory Committee at Umunze, Orumba South.
A similar committee was also set up in Oko, Aguata LGA.
He noted that health workers were still integral parts of the LGAs, but its activities, programmes and funds could be managed more effectively under SPHCDA.
``The SPHCDA creation started with the formation of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), which is in the National Health Act and followed a draw down to all 36 states of the federation.’’
According to Prof Ogbuagu, LGA chairmen are to head each of LGHA Advisory Committees.
``The role of the committee is to oversee and ensure provisions of PHC services in accordance with established standards, guidelines and procedures.
``Director, Primary Healthcare in the LGHA will serve as Secretary of the committee, while Officer-In-Charge (OIC) and Ward Development Committee (WDC) Chairman of the health facilities are signatories to Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF).
``So, you can see, these health facilities are also being supervised and managed at LGA levels.’’
Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu intimated the LGAs chairmen, heads of different departments at the LGAs and members of the Advisory Committees on their roles and terms of reference.
She said they would have to support the overall mission and vision of LGA Health Authority by providing strategic direction, mobilisation and allocation of resources.
``In carrying out the functions, the Advisory Committee shall, meet quarterly, record minutes of meetings and comply with quorum set for commencing meetings,’’ Ezenyimulu added.
According to her, to effectively cater for health needs of the people, especially those in rural areas, with LGA health workers as drivers of the initiative, there is need to re position all LGA health staff members.
``This is the essence of primary healthcare under one roof, which is the essence of ASPHCDA.
``With the BHCPF which is derived from a percent of consolidated revenue of the federation, OICs and WDCs with help of Advisory Committee can make health facilities to begin to prosper.
``This fund will enable you to carry out minor repairs such as, fixing of leaking roofs, provision of mosquito nettings, replacement of broken tiles, repainting of buildings, purchase of basic equipment and even employment of casual staff members to help out in the health facilities,’’ she said.
Dr Ezenyimulu urged OICs of health facilitators, who are signatories to the BHCPF account to work harmoniously with WDCs, community and Advisory Committee being set up as the fund was in perpetuity.
She also noted that similar inaugurations had taken place in several other LGAs including Oyi, Anaocha, Dunukofia, Nnewi South, Ayamelum, Njikoka and Orumba North LGAs.
``This inauguration will take place in all LGAs across the state and will show all the connections between the Health Advisory Council and the development of PHCs in the state.’’
Transition Committee Chairman, Orumba South LGA, Mr Raymond Onyegue said that the structure of primary healthcare under a roof was a major progress in developing and delivering healthcare at the grassroots.
He said that every activity in the health facilities should be registered as the data would be used for the purpose of planning.
``I want things to work in this LGA and for that to happen, we need information that will be used to improve the system and make it productive for betterment of all.’’
Transition Committee Chairman, Aguata LGA, Mr Eche Ezeibe commended ASPHCDA team, pledging that the committee under his chairmanship would live up to expectation.
Members of the LGHA Advisory Committee are Supervisory Councilor for health, heads of different departments in the LGA such as Agriculture, Works, Finance, Education, Community Development and Personnel.
Others are, representatives of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Traditional Council, Religious Leaders, Head of one referral public hospital, one representative of private health sector, Woman Leader and two WDCs.
The event witnessed unveiling of Local Government Health Authority sign posts by ASPHCDA board chairman. (MOI)