By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency is set to receive the sum of 1.5 million US dollars grant from the federal government. The grant is facilitated by the World Bank.
Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole disclosed this to newsmen Monday at a press briefing in Abuja where he said the sum is an equal share across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital territory, Abuja.
Adewole who expressed hope that the support facility if properly utilized will boost healthcare delivery at the primary level said that, “One of the challenges we are facing as a nation is (that) some years back, what we had was a pyramid sitting at the base where the entry point to the health system was primary (health) care.
“This was the singular achievement of one of the foremost Health Minister, Professor Olukoye Ransome-Kuti who invested in Primary Health Care. But then over the years, because of lack of investment in secondary health care and tertiary, we had a situation where people lost interest in the primary health care and what people do now is to walk straight to a tertiary care, even those who have headache, skin rash, they go to a teaching hospital.
“The teaching hospitals are now congested and people are complaining because those who have the real serious problems, don’t get attention. And so what we want to do as a health ministry is to reposition the pyramid in a way that we can put Primary Health Care really at the base.
“This week, we will be disbursing some funds to states under the save one million lives initiative. It is a 500 million dollar support from World Bank and what we are asking the state to do is to use these resources to upgrade their primary health care facilities and we think this will go a long way to improve the state of things.”
As at press time, CrossRiverWatch was unable to get comment from the Director General, CRSPHCDA, Dr. Betta Edu who upon inquiry, discovered she travelled Wednesday, to Abuja in company of the Health Commissioner, Dr. Inyang Asibong with the grant as priority in their “to do” list in Abuja.