The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has released the report of the PRIMARY HEALTHCARE UNDER ONE ROOF (PHCOUR), a Reform Agenda driven by Federal Government Agency. The Report ranks Abia State as Number One amongst the 36 States of the country and the FCT in the implementation of the Reform Agenda in the area of Primary Health Care.
According to the Executive Secretary/CEO of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, “the Reform is aimed at reversing fragmentation in Primary Healthcare delivery at Sub National levels by bringing PHC Management, human resources, financing and operational responsibilities under one State Level body, the State Primary Healthcare Board”
Continuing, Dr. Shuaib said “The level of implementation of the policy is monitored through a national scorecard assessment exercise covering the entire 36 States and the FCT. The scorecard assessment measures the progress towards achieving the full implementation of the policy. It also serves as an advocacy tool to aid decision makers, health policy advisors, legislators, governing bodies, managers and other stakeholders drive the changes required to strengthen PHCs in their states. So far, 5 scorecard assessments have been conducted with their results widely disseminated. The most recent is the Scorecard Assessment 6 which was conducted in August/September 2022”.
In this most recent report, Abia State was adjudged the best in the entire country and the FCT, scoring 100%.
The report for Abia State is as follows –
“Table 46: Abia State PHCUOR Performance: Scorecards 4, 5, 6 (2018-2022)
Abia State PHCUOR implementation has recorded significant leaps through the period in view, with Scorecard 6 performance being the best and placing the state at the 1st position nationwide. The table above shows the state’s commitment towards implementing PHCUOR including addressing the issues within the Legislation, MSP, and Repositioning that posed the most challenge to the state. Abia can be a model state for other states in the implementation of PHCUOR.
Additionally, Abia state should begin to shift towards leveraging the full implementation of PHCUOR to significantly improve the state’s health outcomes”.
A summary of the performance of the 36 States and the FCT is shown in the diagram below.
A more distinct reference to the performance of Abia State is found in the excerpt, especially the part circled in red ink.
As can be seen from the report, the period under review covered 2018 – 2022.
Reacting to this report, the immediate Past Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu under whose watch this feat was achieved expressed deep delight at the outcome of the scorecard assessment exercise which puts Abia ahead of all the other states in the country in the implementation of Primary Healthcare systems.
According to Dr. Ikpeazu, “The decision of my administration to mainstream Primary Healthcare was deliberate because it was clear to me that it was the most viable vehicle to make Healthcare Services to reach the greatest number of the population of our people. We invested heavily in that area and pioneered several measures. For instance, we were the first in the country to introduce the Telehealth Scheme at the Primary Healthcare level. We were also the first in the country to introduce Medical Laboratory Services at the Primary Healthcare level when we pioneered at the Nkwoegwu Primary Healthcare Center in Umuahia North LGA. I am thankful to the Almighty God that our efforts and hardwork have received national acclaim from a federal government agency”.
Concluding, the former Governor added “The timing of the release of this report is strategic and auspicious. At a time when there are concerted and deliberate efforts to rubbish all the work we did in Abia State by the present administration, this report comes as a huge breath of fresh air which stamps an indelible imprimatur on our work and leaves our traducers with no other option except to swallow their own words. Indeed, there is still a God in heaven”.
Former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is thankful to the Executive Secretary, Management and Staff of the National Health Care Development Agency for their professionalism while conducting this nationwide assessment. He also thanks the leadership and workers of the Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency for their patriotism and dedication to duty in faithfully implementing his vision for the expansion of Primary Healthcare in Abia State.
In states where there is a clear understanding of what governance means, the present administration in Abia State would have, not only celebrated this report, but build on the solid foundations laid by their immediate predecessors to improve the quality of our health care delivery system. Unfortunately, in the new Abia, the sole target is to throw mud on every work done by the Ikpeazu administration.
As usual, they will pretend not to see this well prepared report by an agency of the Federal Government, backed with relevant pieces of data, but we are here to make them see.
Posterity will, as always, vindicate the just!
Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka
Spokesman to former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
22nd July, 2023.