By Philip Shimnom Clement in Lagos
Primary Health Centers (PHCs) have been playing a vital role in health care service delivery in Nigeria.
It serves as the immediate contact between rural communities and health delivery, thus assisting them in getting the health basic needs.
It is based of this background, that, the participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS) in collaboration with development Research and Project Centre (dRPC) visited some in Lagos state as part of the study tour to ascertain the level of health delivery in the country.
During the visit to Bola Ahmed Tinubu Comprehensive Primary Health Care center in Alimosho LGA of Lagos State, GovernanceNews observed that unlike the normal dilapidated health care centers in Nigeria, the center offers basic care like anti-natal and family planning.
Also, it offers laboratory facilities and run 24hrs a day with about 20 health workers ranging from doctors, pharmacist, N-power health workers and laboratory scientists.
Briefing the participants, the medical officer of health facility at Agbado Oke Odo LCD, Dr. Oladipo Simiat said the center offers basic health care services on 24hrs basis because of the teeming population of the Local government.
“Alimosho LGA is the most populated local government in Lagos state and because of that we offer basic health care services. However, in the case of the ones we can’t handle, we refer them to the General hospital in the LGA and then to the teaching hospitals as the case may be.
Asked on the challenges being faced, Simiat said, “There are 13 PHCs under the local government and one of the common problems we fave is funding. We get funding from the local government time to time and its only around N60,000. Also our ambulance services and medical personnel need to be equipped well to face the challenges ahead,” she said.
Similarly, at the Palm Avenue Primary Health Center at Mushin Local government, the case was the same as the facility offer the needed basic primary health care services.
The Medical Officer for Health of the LGA L, Dr. Wale Akeredelu said the the local government has 10 out of which 3 are comprehensive health care centers..
According to him, “The idea of the PHC is to reduce the burden on secondary and tertiary health care providers and also generate revenue to maintain their facilities”
Words from health care seekers
One of the indigenous people, Murayo Oladele who spoke to GovernanceNews described the health center as very effective, adding that, she comes to the center for anti-natal care.
“I registered for anti-natal for the past 2 months and they have been treating us well.
“We were charged N2,000 and that is the fee that you will pay from anti-natal to delivery,” she said
Another indigene, Bola Hamid said he came to run malaria test as he trust the facility to give him the needed results and treatment for his problem.
“In this LGA, this primary health care has been serving the members of our community at a very affordable price. And this is one of the reason why you see people here trooping in and out,” he added.