Leadership (Abuja)

17 November 2012

Nigeria: Minister Urges Councils to Build Primary Healthcare Institutions

The FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, on Saturday urged the six area councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to build primary health care institutions to support secondary healthcare in the area.

Mohammed gave the advice at the launch of the "2012 Maternal and New Born Child Health Week" and inauguration of the Owner Occupier Primary Health Care Centre, Kubwa, Abuja.

The minister, who was represented by the Minister of State for FCT, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, said primary healthcare institutions would help reduce pressure on general hospitals.

He said that the inauguration of the primary health centre in Kubwa was another important milestone that residents in the community would benefit from.

He said it would also complement the existing general hospital in the area.

According to him, the FCT administration is working hard to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, the incidence of infant and maternal mortality in the capital territory.

The theme for the celebration is "A Package of Care for a Healthy Family", with the sub-theme, "Clean Environment: Healthy Mother and Child".

"FCT administration completely identifies itself with this theme and will do all that is necessary to ensure that the goals of this celebration are realised in the FCT.

"We hope that the idea of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week will go a long way to complement our on-going free ante-natal and under-five health care programmes," he said.

He said that the policy of free distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets to FCT residents would be re-enforced.

He added that effective healthcare remained one of the fundamental objectives and principles of the administration's policy.

Mohammed said the FCT had achieved over 150 per cent increase in Vitamin A coverage and over 140 per cent in the proportion of children de-wormed compared to last year.

The minister also announced the winners of the 2012 edition of FCT Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week Competition and said Abaji came first, Kwali, second, and Gwagwalada, third.

The Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, said that the new health centre would improve the wellbeing of residents, especially pregnant women and children.

Mohammed said that the construction of the health centre and equipment cost N50 million.

Mr Peter Yohanna, Chairman, Bwari Area Council, in his welcome address, said the council had ensured that mothers in the area were given free antenatal services from conception to delivery.

He said the council had also taken proactive measures to safeguard the residents of the area against flood by clearing the drainage.

"We embarked on public enlightenment campaign, on the dangers of building along waterways.

" We also engaged the services of private firms to evacuate refuse to designated sites in our bid to promote a healthy environment for our people," Yohanna said.

Dr Idang Ebong, FCT Coordinator for WHO, said that access to healthcare in the rural areas was low and called for an urgent reversal of the trend.

Ebong stressed the need for the officials of the council to monitor all health programmes.

The primary health centre is located in the Owner- Occupier Housing Scheme in Kubwa, which hitherto had no health facility.

FCTA distributed 150 insecticide treated nets to mothers and patients, who attended the event.

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