By Otukoko Olayinka Ibrahim
I just came across a result of an assessment and evaluation of performance which was conducted by a statistical firm called StatiSense and where Kwara Primary Health care is reported to have been rated 3rd worst in the county.
Reading such a disturbing report, I got entangled between a Web of confusion and uncertainty as to what the benchmark parameters for such rating is. I am keen about the the parameters because as a student of history, I have a handful information about what the previous administrations have done to raise the bar on standard scales of primary healthcare services in kwara to such an enviable height that states across Nigeria have copied and implemented the sustainable policy initiatives and implementation processes from Kwara.
To conduct an assessment for evaluating performances of primary healthcare operations and services that will determine a consequent rating as published, the global standard has certain requirements that are regulatory and which defines expectations to be met by assessors before rating. Where is what gives Kwara such disgusting and embarrassing rating remains a question in the lips of every Kwara who has a bit insight into the records of performances of primary healthcare services in kwara before now.
It is imperative to start by presenting the minimum standards required for rating primary healthcare in Nigeria and subsequently subject the history of primary healthcare in kwara into scrutiny on the referential scale of the established standards. On a global scale, Primary care is a key process in a health system that provides promotive, protective, preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative services throughout the life course. When we wish to rate PHCs on a scale of service delivery, we put more emphasis into: Health Education, Availabily, Accessibility and Affordability of health services, Maternal and Child healthcare, Proper food and Nitrition, Immunization and other program, Provision of essential medicine, Treatment of communicable diseases, Water and Sanitation, Promotion of mental health and rehabilitation among others.
Going back to history, Dr. Bukola Saraki came to Kwara with policy initiatives that first considered importance the three key “A” components of primary healthcare service provisions which are Availabiliy, Accessibility and Affordability.He introduced construction of major primary healthcare facilities across wards in Kwara where private hospitals were the major access community people have for healthcare service delivery. As part of the basic requirements for PHC service provisions, this was done to address infrastructure deficiencies in PHCs in kwara communities. This makes PHCs services available and accessible to people in the grassroots communities, including the hard-to-reach communities in the rural areas.
Apart from other programmes that were initiated to prevent and mitigate Infectious Diseases Outbeak Management systems, Dr. Saraki initiated a Community Health Insurance Scheme in a tripartite arrangement with Dutch government where kwarans were enrolled to have access to PHC services at a very affordable rate of N300 per annum as a premium package institutionalised to cover the Affordability part of the three “As”. To my beliefs, where primary healthcare is made available, accessible and affordable as projected in the policies of Dr. Saraki as governor, one would continue to wonder why Kwara is getting such an embarrassing rating we just recorded in recent time.
We ask where is what because we are convinced the past administrations laid a sustainable foundation for PHCs to thrive in kwara till eternity. Governor AbdulFatahi Ahmed did not only established the Kwara Health Insurance Agency but also initiated a law that ensured commitment of 1% consolidated revenue of the state revenue into PHCs in kwara. This is to ascertain that the needed fund for running the initiated policies are guaranteed apart from the possibility of supports from international organisations.
The question remains WHERE IS WHAT necessitate the unfortunate rating of Kwara Promary Healthcare as the third worst on the country.
Otukoko Olayinka Ibrahim
The State Chairman,
PDP Youth Advisory Council