Edo making frantic efforts to strengthen primary healthcare – deputy governor

By Ahmed Ubandoma

Mr Philips Shuaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, says the state is making frantic efforts to strengthen its primary healthcare facility to achieve the universal health coverage.

Shuaibu spoke to journalists shortly after an interactive dialogue of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) with development partners in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the NGF and its development partners discussed extensively on ways to strengthen primary healthcare.

The interactive dialogue, which was organised by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), centred on Zero Dose Children, Primary Healthcare Coordination, and COVID-19 Response in Nigeria.

“We also discussed ways of effectively strengthening the governing structure, and taking healthcare services to the doorsteps of our people.

“Though, every state has its own peculiar areas of needs, for us in Edo state, we have strong government structure, but we felt that we needed support in the area of data and technology-driven healthcare system that is well to do,’’ the deputy governor said.

He said that there was also a need to strengthen the COVID-19 response in the state.

“ The starting point is to strengthen the basic primary healthcare system at the local level.

“Because, we believe that when you take primary healthcare to the doorstep of the people, you have solved 50 per cent of the problems of the healthcare system.

“ In Edo, we are going beyond strengthening the primary healthcare system to making sure we decongest the tertiary healthcare facilities in the state.

“ We are designing a system where the tertiary health facilities will become only referral centres,” he said.

Shuaibu said that the major challenge confronting the state was in the area of logistics, especially capacity building training.

He stressed that the issue of insecurity made some areas inaccessible, adding “ yet people in those areas also need healthcare”.

“We are reviewing it now to see where we can strengthen and area where states need support so as to deal with all issues of healthcare,” he said. (NAN).