A Non-Governmental Organization, Young Women Think Foundation has expressed the need for the state government to improve conditions of its Primary Health Care Centres across the 27 LGAs of Imo state.
The group with support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, also the L’Anence de l’ eau- Artos- picardie, and Youth for Water and Climate Agency, were able to carry out a research to ascertain the present condition of the Primary Health Care situation in Imo, using Isiala Mbano as a case study.
The research was conducted across 10 Primary Health Care Centers which was randomly selected. Findings indicated that the Primary Health Centres fall below the standard recommended by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
The State Secretary for Eastern Non Governmental Organisation, Mr Richard Onyema, while delivering the report on the Primary health Care Centre’s Facility Assessment and the Imo state public health Expenditure stated that the findings indicated the critical sanitation and hygienic issues which primarily were same issues with the over 10 PHCs sampled.
“Some of the centres had rickety walls and leaking roofs with torn nets on doors and windows while the majority of the PHCCs have dirty, broken down and abandoned toilet equipments with no source of clean water connected to the toilets”. He said.
The findings also revealed that few facilities had functional boreholes as majority of them depends on rain water collected in deep wells and buckets.
Others are, poor staffing and inadequate accommodation, poor funding and Implementation of budgetary allocation for the Health Centres.
Part of the recommendations, were for the government to conduct a needs assessment across the 27 LGAS to ascertain that the peculiar needs of the PHCCs are correctly documented.
They also appealed to relevant stakeholders especially the Imo state Ministry of Health and the Imo State Primary Health Care Development Agency on the need to urgently improve on the funding to address issues arising from the report.
Speaking on the validation of the research report, the coordinator of the foundation, Hossanna Chinonyere said the essence of carrying out the facility assessment of PHC is for the state government to ensure that pregnant women, Nursing mother’s and children have access to a functional and well equipped Primary health centres instead of patronising traditional birth attendants during delivery.
She noted also that the essence of the findings were to understand the budgetary allocation of the health sector and ascertain the level of its implementation.
She noted that the foundation after the findings will interface with the government and the relevant agencies to ensure the improvement of the state of the primary Health Centres across the 27 LGAs in the state.
In her response, the representative of the Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr Victoria Dike assured that the Imo state government has promised to rehabilitate 305 health centres across the state to improve the health conditiyon of its citizens and thanked the organizers of the event for their painstaking efforts in carrying out such research.
A representative of ISPHCDA, Mrs Immaculator Chukwuemeka also attested to the findings and assured of the agency’s collaboration with the government to provide a lasting solution to the issues.