Group decries high cost of drugs in Anambra PHCs, blames corruption

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Lawrence Nwimo, Awka

The ATM (AIDS, Malaria and TB) network for the C19 RM/RSSH (COVID-19 Response Mechanism and Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health) has decried high cost of drugs and medical services in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Anambra State.

The project led by Civil Society Organisations for Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) in the state also lamented alleged corrupt practices by health workers in some PHCs in the State, warning those involved to desist forthwith.

Speaking in Awka during its monthly coordination meeting, Zonal Coordinator, ACOMIN, Southeast, Prof. Dennis Aribodor blamed low patronage witnessed at several PHCs across the state to such nefarious activities.

He charged Heads of Health Departments of health facilities to demonstrate high level of transparency and accountability in discharge of their assignments.

Aribodo, who is also Executive Director, Malaria Eradication and Safe Health Initiative of Nigeria, also enjoined Officers-in-Charge of the PHCs to make judicious use of basic health care provision fund for maintenance of the health centres.

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He said, “The corrupt allegations in Awka South has been addressed. But that of PHCs in  Nnewi South LGA is still under investigation.

“It’s our hope that all resources for PHCs should be transparency managed. The LGAs Heads of Health Departments and heads of health facilities should shun corruption in whatever form, so that available resources will be used for the good of community members.

“OICs are expected to make good use of the basic health care provision fund for the maintenance of the health centres.”

State Coordinator, Mrs Chioma Okeke urged members to replicate achievements being recorded in their areas of coverage in other neighbouring town with no PHCs or underutilized ones.

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“As you oversee PHCs assigned to you, nothing stops you from replicating what is happening in your area in other neighbouring communities and even in your own towns where there are no PHCs.

“Anywhere you have opportunity, sell this market to community members and other stakeholders in communities where PHCs are not existing or functional and you will be surprised with the positive outcome.

“In my own area, we don’t have PHCs. We only have a health post. But when I paid advocacy visit to chairman of landlords association in Nkpo, he accepted to renovate existing health post. We’re not limited to our assigned PHCs, let this project spread across other communities,” she said.

State Coordinator for Tuberculosis Network, Mrs. Ify Unachukwu reminded members that the group’s target remained ensuring functional, community driven PHCs towards better healthcare delivery for residents of the area.

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On his part, Program Manager, State Malaria Elimination Programme, Nonso Ndibe regretted human resource challenge in most health facilities, stressing the need for engagement of more health workers in the centres. 

“Even the 300 health workers recently recruited won’t be able to fill the gaps. We need to make recommendations through our reports to address challenges of man power and high cost of drugs,” he said.

Earlier, State Programme Officer, Wisdom Jacob urged CBOs to ensure the project was sustained in the community they were working.

He also enjoined them to build capacity of the Ward Development Community (WDC) to continue to advocate for the maintenance of the health centre in the community through community members

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