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Rivers Vows to Revamp Primary Healthcare Centers


by Victor Adetimilehin

The Rivers State government is determined to elevate its medical infrastructure, particularly Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) and General Hospitals, across the region. The commitment to improving healthcare facilities is a top priority for Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s administration.


Dr. Adaeze Chidinma Oreh, the State Commissioner for Health, affirmed this commitment during a performance review event hosted by the Civil Society Organization, Connected Development (CODE). She acknowledged the substantial gaps in primary healthcare and called upon community stakeholders to collaborate in devising recommendations and policies that will enhance the quality of primary healthcare services.


The state government’s focus is set on bolstering primary and secondary healthcare, recognizing the significance of these services in the well-being of the population.Dr. Adaeze Chidinma Oreh emphasized the need for community involvement, acknowledging that those at the grassroots level are best positioned to provide insights into the challenges they face daily.


Many community stakeholders have voiced their concerns about the deplorable state of government facilities, including the inconvenient locations of healthcare facilities, which often lead to difficulties during medical emergencies.


The primary concerns raised at the event were the high rates of maternal and infant mortality in rural communities where primary healthcare services are either lacking or grossly inadequate. Several primary healthcare centers suffer from understaffing, inadequate water supply, and power issues.


Commissioner Adaeze Chidinma Oreh mentioned that efforts are underway to assess the state’s existing primary healthcare facilities. A comprehensive mapping of these facilities is being conducted to determine their locations and functionality. The findings revealed significant disparities in access to healthcare, with some communities facing challenges reaching the nearest primary healthcare facility or general hospital, often requiring long-distance travel.


The state government’s top priority is to ensure that every community within every ward has a functional primary healthcare center. This involves upgrading existing facilities and equipping them to provide essential, high-quality healthcare services.


Meanwhile, Stephen Akinfela, the Communications Officer for CODE, explained the purpose of the performance review, funded by the Ford Foundation. It aims to facilitate conversations between community stakeholders and the government to improve advocacy efforts and enhance healthcare services.


Rivers State’s commitment to improving its healthcare infrastructure, especially at the grassroots level, is a positive step towards enhancing the well-being and safety of its residents. By working closely with communities and addressing the existing gaps in primary healthcare, the state is poised to achieve its goal of accessible and quality healthcare for all.


Source: [The Guardian]


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