By CrossRiverWatch admin
Members of Civil Society Platform on Health (CSPH), Cross River State Chapter have raised alarm over what they term “continued poor performance of Primary Health Care (PHC) services and the overall functioning of the health system in the State in spite of the efforts of the last administration”.
The group which made this disclosure recently in Calabar, “the demographics in Cross River State shows that women and children under 5 are the most vulnerable and constitute 22% and 20% of the State total population respectively. There have been robust efforts by the last administration aimed at improving the health status of the populace, especially as observed in the increase in number of health facilities and health personnel in the State as well as the development and operationalization of a 5 year Strategic Health Development Plan (2010-2015)”.
In a communiqué signed by Paul Ekuna and Effiong Udobong, Chairman and Secretary respectively, as part of the NGO’s Stakeholders health campaign program held in the State to sensitize Cross Riverians on a healthy living, the group raised the following issues for consideration:
“The State has passed the PHC law but yet to operationalise same. The 2011-2015 State Strategic Health, development Plan is about to expire at the end of this month without any process in place for a new one, inability of most of the PHCs’ to manage post-partum hemorrhage, lack of basic equipment and ambulances for referral processes to general hospital, poor electricity supply and solar powers not working, most PHCs’ still make use of candles and lanterns in labor rooms”.
Others include; Attitude of staff are sending people off to other alternatives, water supply and dirty boreholes, shortage of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory scientists, poor data management system, absence of data entry clerks in some PHCs’. Poor community and citizens’ participation in the management and maintenance of the PHCs”.
The following recommendations were made: Commence Stakeholders consultation towards the establishment of the Primary Health Care Agency for the State, lobby for the increase in the State budget allocation for the Health sector at the House of Assembly, implement the national policy of seven percent budget allocation to the Primary Health Centers”.
As well as: “Commence Stakeholders consultations towards the development of a new state strategic health development plan, operationalise the PHC law, regularize staff training and retraining exercise, increase awareness among populace, provide basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care, provide ambulance to all PHCs’, ensure community participation for sustainability of efforts”.
And “Set up effective and more efficient data capturing and reporting system, regularize monitoring and supervision of facilities across board, develop new State strategic health development plan, increase number of general hospitals and establish a school of Post Basic ENT nursing to expand the State health service horizon”.
As part of the activities of the group, a courtesy call was paid to the State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong to share their thoughts on the way forward towards achieving a better health system in the State.
On her part while speaking Dr. Asibong promised her office will work in unison with all relevant stakeholders in the health sector for improvement.
Though she accepted that the sector is facing lots of challenges which have been identified and are been tackled, she beckoned all and sundry who have meaningful contributions to offer to step forward.
There was also free HIV/AIDS testing and distribution of anti retroviral drugs and treated mosquito nets.
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