Maternal & Child Mortality: NPHCDA To Employ 200,000 Community Health Workers
The Executive Secretary, National Primary healthcare Development Agency,NPHCDA Dr. Faisal Shuaib, says the agency will employ and train 200,000 Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Service Providers (CHIPSP) across the country on how to take delivery during an emergency to reduce maternal and child mortality.
The Executive Secretary who made this known at the Inaugural Quarterly Media Interactive Forum in Abuja,said women will no longer die needless death while giving life.
“The Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Service Providers that we are talking about are not doctors. They are women that are going to be identified traditional rulers, political leaders, civil society organisations in the communities as responsible women who have at least elementary school education, who can be trained to provide simple skills. We need people to stay in our rural areas,”Dr. Shuaib said.
Dr Shuaib said in each political ward, 20 women would be trained to carter for women and children in their immediate communities.
“We do not need doctors in Primary health facilities. We need community health extension workers, nurses, midwives“We want to move away from a situation whereby unskilled workers will be assisting in delivery in communities.”
He emphasised that they would be made to stay closer to the households and treat simple conditions and offer first aid services
According to him the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) failed because most of the beneficiaries posted were reluctant to stay in villages, due to basic amenities to work with.
The executive director also disclosed that NPHCDA was trying to repackage and re-launch the MSS to serve communities better.
Dr Shuaib said the new plan was to raise the figure from initial 25,000 to 200,000 to urgently combat the rising cases of maternal and child mortality.
While speaking on strengthening Routine Immunization, he noted that the agency would maximally utilize government’s social welfare scheme to build an unmatched Village Health Worker programme for making RI attractive through sustainable demand generation avenues.
“We would have been done with polio by now. We would have been celebrating that Nigeria had achieved polio eradication of it weren’t for the fact that we had pockets of areas where our health workers could not access the children. And the polio virus has a knack for hiding in places there’s poor accessibility. Poor access is also why Afghanistan and Pakistan have not been able to eradicate polio,”
“It’s been almost a year since we mounted that outbreak response and we have not seen any case of wild polio virus. Even though we have surveillance systems that are in place to look everywhere and detect any polio virus. So, it is our priority that we maintain the momentum and close out any transmission that lingers in Borno or anywhere in the country “.
” We will continue to carry out this campaign to ensure that we build population immunity and keep the virus at bay. Next month we are going out again to have a vaccination campaign to ensure that our children remain protected from the polio virus. At this point of our lives, we should not be tackling viruses like that. We should be done with them and I know we have the capacity to ensure that we eradicate polio,” Dr. Shuaib added.
On his part the Coordinator, Community Health Research Initiative, CHR and civil societies’ representative of the Global Financing Facility Investors Group Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba, said the forum would not be a one off event as it would be held on quarterly basis.
He said that the forum tagged #OpenNPHCDA was aimed at promoting accountability and transparency in governance.
“We are unlocking the agency to have a robot quarterly interactive dialogue,” he said.