Aribodor Delivers 78th UNIZIK Lecture Series, Makes Case for Anambra Primary Health Care

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

A university don, Prof. Dennis Aribodor, recently delivered the 78th Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Inaugural Lecture Series held at ASUU-NAU Secretariat, Awka, making a case for Anambra Primary Healthcare.

Aribodor, a Professor of Public Health Parasitology at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, while making the case identified primary health care as basic and closest to the people for quick response to health care but expressed concern that less than 10 medical doctors worked in the PHCs in all the 21 local government areas of the state, with what he described as an acute lack of other human resources for health.

Prof. Aribodor said there was currently an emergency situation in the Primary Health Care Sector because the right personnel were not there and that the confidence of the people are not there to patronise the primary health care centres.

He said there was need for Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo and his cabinet members to work hard to ensure that the human resource for health, especially at the primary health care centres was improved upon immediately to mitigate loss of lives, improve service delivery and build confidence especially at the grassroots.

The public health expert said there was hardly any local government area in Anambra state with less than 10 political wards; that there was need for every LGA to have at least 4 primary health care centres that meet the basic minimum health package for the people for a start.

He equally pointed out that the problems being experienced in the primary health care sector were the same in the secondary health facilities, stressing that community people who patronised government secondary health facilities complained about high cost of treatments, poor attitude to work of the personnel and a host of other disturbing issues.

The university don therefore stressed the dire need for government to get the confidence of the people again so they can have health at an affordable cost.

He also opined that Soludo’s administration should pay priority attention to education and health as they touched directly on human development indices.

He said he was hopeful that someday his community Azia in Ihiala Local Government Area, would be able to access Primary Health Care Centre Azia as a first option and not a chemist shop to address health challenges.

He said health care was comatose in Anambra before the advent of Soludo’s administration as there was obvious dearth of human resource for health; budgetary allocation for health was nothing to write home about and malaria control took a back seat.

But according to him, when Soludo came on board and appointed the current Commissioner for Health Dr. Afam Obidike, recruitments were made mainly for secondary health facilities but the primary health care facilities still lacked needed health personnel.

He said no political ward in Anambra state has a primary health care facility that meets the basic minimum standards.

Professor Dennis Aribodor however expressed optimism that the rot in the Primary Health Care sector may be addressed in the next few months, especially with the appointment of a new Executive Secretary for the Anambra State Primary HealthCare Development Agency and the determined and hard-working Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ben Afam Obidike