COVID-19: Minister asks NPHCDA to construct more PHCs in FCT

By Daniel Tyokua

The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has called on the management of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), to construct more healthcare facilities for the FCT.

She said Wuse or central ward of the nation’s capital was due for primary Health Care Centre especially as some hospitals have been designated for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

The minister who made the call when the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, led other management staff of the agency on a courtesy call also stressed that the administration is giving attention to the primary healthcare sector for rejuvenation and service provision to the residents who need it most.

In a statement by Austine Elemue, media aide to the minister, said Aliyu used the occasion to acknowledge the importance of the primary healthcare response in this critical period of COVID-19 outbreak, just as she maintained that the FCT response to the pandemic would be total and focused.

Besides physical infrastructure, Aliyu also called for technical support of the FCT primary healthcare board in the areas of Mobile/Outreach strategy for PHC scheme implementation by way of Integrated Medical Outreach Programme (I-MOP) to strengthen immunization and PHC programmes in the FCT and the Community Health Influencers and Service (CHIPS) programme to expand services to underserved communities in the territory.

According to her, “The FCT response to the pandemic is total and focused. We are giving attention to the PHC sector for rejuvenation and service provision to the residents who need it most and with partnership, we believe a lot more would be achieved within this first phase of strategic period, adopting national programmes and interventions for results particularly in maternal and child health services”.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, commended the administration for the combative posture in the battle against COVID-19 outbreak in the territory, while expressing optimism that the country would be victorious at the end of the day.

Shuaib, however prayed that the COVID-19 pandemic do not extend to community spread that could further overstretched the primary healthcare facilities in the country, noting that if the virus spreads to community level, it would be the greatest test of how functional the nation’s primary healthcare centres are.

He used the occasion to appeal to FCT Administration to confirm the Acting Executive Secretary of the Primary Healthcare Board or appoint a substantive secretary in line with the guidelines and protocols of the primary healthcare, stressing that FCT remains the only state in the federation without a substantive secretary.

“We at the NPHCDA congratulates your team for the robust attack on COVID-19 outbreak. We are getting the confidence that we are winning the battle. The FCT Administration’s giant stride in this fight is quite commendable.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has shown how important the health sectors are and the need to strengthen the sector. We hope not to experience wide or community spread of the COVID-19 because if it happens, the first place to call is the primary healthcare centres and it will be the biggest test of how functional our primary healthcare centres are,” he noted.

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