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Dysfunctional PHCs Leads To Alarming Child Mortality Rate

Dr. Salma Anas, the Special adviser on health to President Bola Tinubu, claims that the absence of operational Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) in Nigeria is the root cause of the country’s high infant death rate.

Anas stated this at the 7th Annual Health Conference of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), in Nasarawa State.

Nigeria is among the three percent of the world’s population and a major contributor to the global burden of maternal and newborn deaths.

According to her, this has been linked to underfunded health care sectors, a shortage of equipment, and insufficient healthcare coverage as a result of dysfunctional PHC systems.

She said the challenges to maternal and child deaths could be averted and prevented if the PHC is rebranded to guarantee health security.

She reiterated the efforts of the current administration to revitalize the primary health care sector in order to meet the SDGs 2030 goals of universal health coverage, saying that doing so will lay the groundwork for a healthy society.

In her words, “The PHC is the fulcrum for a resilient health system and should be structured to be able to deliver services that will support the attainment of UHC and guarantee health security. The PHC is the entry point into the health care service delivery system where 80 percent of the health issues should be sorted out and essential with basic care needs provided.

“As a gateway to accessing health services, it should be designed to fit the purpose for proper functioning and operations to be prepared for the needs of the community where it is located. It should be a hub of positive interaction that gives hope and relieves anxieties and distress to whoever is there whether as a caregiver or client/patient.

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