Nigeria’s President Commits to Revitalizing 10,000 Primary Health Care Centers

President Muhammadu Buhari (center) and Honorable Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole (left of center) unveil the renovated Kuchigoro model PHC.

On January 10th, 2017, the Federal Government of Nigeria kicked off a scheme to revitalize over 10,000 primary healthcare centers (PHCs) across the country. The event, “Revitalization of PHC for Universal Health Coverage,” took place at the renovated Kuchigoro model PHC, Kuchigoro village, in Abuja.

In his remarks, President Muhammadu Buhari called on state governors to adopt the initiative and make the revitalization of PHCs a priority in their state development agendas. The President said,

“The goal of revitalizing the PHCs is to ensure that quality basic health care services are delivered to the majority of Nigerians irrespective of their location in the country.”

The government, in collaboration with national and international partners, is prioritizing rural and vulnerable populations, especially pregnant women, children under five, and the elderly. President Buhari noted that through the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, USD $1.5 million was provided to each state government—and the Federal Capital Territory—to ensure delivery of quality health care to women and children.

The Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said, “The plan will give poor Nigerians access to affordable, quality health services.” The Federal Ministry of Health has made a provision for the revitalization of more than 10,000 PHCs in the 2017 budget, in addition to the 2,923 PHCs that development partners have committed to revitalizing.

At the event, President Buhari also formally launched the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) guidelines and inaugurated the National Health Act (NHAct) steering committee. Through several targeted activities the HFG project is supporting these initiatives to ensure increased availability of resources and access to care for women and children. The HFG project supported the drafting, reviewing, and finalization of the BHCPF guidelines and served on the NHAct steering committee. HFG’s Service Availability Readiness Assessments (SARAs) in five states provide an evidence base for determining current infrastructural, training, and commodity availability gaps. Follow-on work from the SARAs will quantify and cost those gaps, providing vital information to support BHCPF implementation and other government and development partner initiatives targeted at vulnerable populations.

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