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Primary health care delivery: Zamfara, Sokoto, 16 others worst performing states

A new report has shown that Zamfara, a North-western state, is Nigeria’s worst performing state in Primary Health Care (PHC) service delivery.

The report titled; “The State of Primary Healthcare Service Delivery in Nigeria,” shows that Zamfara and 17 other Nigerian states are weak in healthcare service delivery, especially in public facilities.

The other states include Sokoto, Taraba, Kebbi, Katsina, Borno, Yobe, Kogi, Jigawa, Rivers, Gombe, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Plateau, Imo, and Kaduna.

The research for the report, released recently at an event in Abuja, was carried out by ONE Campaign, in partnership with National Advocates for Health, Nigeria Health Watch, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), and other partners.

According to a statement issued by ONE campaign, apart from ranking health system performance across 36 states, the report also provides an in-depth and systemic review of the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and the compliance of the states with the National Health Act and National Health Policy.

The research also includes recommendations for how state governments should strengthen their fragile health systems, enhance the existing implementation of the BHCPF, and raise strategic and operational planning for health in order to promote access to and utilisation of primary healthcare services.

The statement indicates that the report’s findings expose the precarious state of healthcare in Nigeria, where access to and utilisation of health services continues to be marred by systemic challenges across the states.

It also shows that public health facilities in all 36 states and the FCT are deficient, and the experiences of community members seeking health care at public facilities are consistently awful.

Findings from the report also blame Nigeria’s deteriorating health care system on the weak governance structures and operational inefficiencies.

The Managing Director of Nigeria Health Watch, Vivianne Ihekweazu, said the report “helps us understand where we are, the opportunities and gaps in state-level healthcare delivery.”

Ms Ihekweazu said the parties involved are determined to disseminate the findings widely and use them to hold policymakers, especially at the subnational level, accountable for improvements in healthcare delivery for all Nigerians.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Enugu, and Anambra are some of the top performing states in primary healthcare service delivery, according to the report.

Others are Ekiti, Delta, Abia, Lagos, Nassarawa, Adamawa, Kwara, Benue, Ebonyi, Oyo, Bauchi, Ogun, Ondo, Kano, Niger and Osun states.

Speaking at the launch, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, noted the need for continuous oversight checks to ensure the BHCPF works for Nigerians.

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