Primary Health Care in Nigeria
The government of Nigeria in 2015 raised an alarm about the Challenges of primary health care in Nigeria. The federal government made it very clear that irrespective of where people live. They should have the same quality of primary health care in Nigeria. In terms of strategy the minister of health then requested that at least one functional primary health care facility should be made available in each of the almost 10 000 wards in Nigeria.
The state of the primary health care did not start in 2015. It has been there for decades but the present administration made it very clear that it was not acceptable for Nigerians to die from preventable diseases in our communities due to unavailability of a good primary health care center in that area.
In 1978 the World Health Organization together with the UNICEF and other organization and bodies came together to define a system that will help and take care of the basic necessities and basic requirement of the world’s population including the availability of clean water, nutrition, immunization etc. This brought the idea of primary health care services.
Challenges of Primary Health Care in Nigeria
1. Too many uncompleted primary health care centers in Nigeria
Government should fix and complete all uncompleted primary health care centers littered across the landscape in Nigeria and make them functional for the population in that area.
2. Unavailability of qualified man power/ health personnels
Provision of adequate well trained health care providers that will provide quality health care services to people.
3. Low investment in primary health care insurance system
This is the ability to mobilize resources not just from government but from private individuals. Where they rich pay more so that the poor can access health care. Also where the government begin to put money aside into an equity fund that will be used to pay for those that can not pay for health care.
Doing this will create a poll that can be used to purchase health care services. Which will then turn into a virtual cycle. Because once money is available to purchase health care services then the supply of those health care services will improve because there is availability of cash to improve the services of those health care and in turn will encourage more people to join the health insurance scheme and access better health care service.
4. Inadequate and grossly under founded primary health care in Nigeria
Primary health care system should be made available in most rural areas in Nigeria. And it should be staffed with qualified medical personnels. The number of primary health care centers should also be increased and made available for people to access the services that they require.
5. Financial limitation
Most people in rural areas can not afford the cost of health care services in their area. They can’t even pay for fees as low as consultation fee. So the government should make the primary health care center affordable to everyone in those rural areas.
Improving the Challenges of Primary Health Care in Nigeria
One of the things we need to consider is how primary health care is going to be improved. if you look at Nigeria’s primary health care list you’ll see that out of 25 000 primary health care centers in the country. Only less than 5% are actually functional most of them are abandoned and the nation will go bankrupt. This is where the private sector comes in improving primary health care in Nigeria. How can the government partner with the private sector in facilitating investments and revitalizing health care systems in nigeria especially the primary health care levels.
In 2018 Nigeria allocated 64% of health project to primary health care that is very large from the ministry of health.
Nigeria needs a very good solid primary health care center that is accessible and affordable to majority of Nigerians because that is the foundation. The federal ministry of health has made a right decision towards the direction of revitalizing primary health care delivery services.
Over 70% of the illness and diseases suffered by the average Nigerian can be solved at the primary health care level. This is why it’s very important to revitalize the primary health care in Nigeria.