News Update

Group Decries Dilapidated Infrastructure in Anambra Health Centres

By Ikeugonna Eleke

A group, Connected Development (CODE) has lamented the lack of basic requirements in many Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Anambra State as set by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

Team Lead, CODE – Anambra State, Mrs Ujunwa Ananwude, stated this on Thursday during a town hall meeting in Okpuno PHC in Awka South Local Government area of the state.

She said the body’s evaluation of the PHCs was informed by its ‘Follow the Money’ project assessment tour of different centres in the state to ascertain if they met the minimum standard.

She called for increased intervention, community support and participation in governance process and running of healthcare centres in the state.

She said, ‘Many of the PHCs are understaffed with dilapidated infrastructure, they don’t have electricity, access to clean water and capacity to host, store and administer vaccines.

‘This meeting is to bring these problems to the notice of government and community leaders so as to ensure that PHCs maintain minimum standard as stipulated by the agency.

‘The communities have a role to play by supporting government’s efforts and channelling a course that would ensure access to basic and quality healthcare in every community in the long run.’

Director, Community Health Services, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Dr Frank Umeh, while calling for community ownership of the PHCs, urged community leaders to be government’s eyes by monitoring happenings in the centres and reporting same if things were going wrong.

Contributing, a Health Educator, ASPHCDA, Mrs Uju Onwuegbuzina, described community involvement in the maintenance of PHCs as critical, underscoring the need for discussions on how to support government to maintain PHCs in their communities.

Responding on behalf of the community leaders, Chief Goddy Nzekwu said some communities had been responsible for payment of salaries of cleaners and security guards in their PHCs.

‘We have been supporting and we hope to do more but the major challenge in our PHCs is lack of manpower. Government should employ more health workers to manage the number of patients who visit PHCs

‘We also urge the state government to adequately utilize the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund to improve basic infrastructure in our PHCs,’ he said.