Physicians have urged governments at all levels to key into private and public partnership to improve funding of family planning and integrate health services towards revitalizing Nigeria’s healthcare service delivery.
The medical experts, stated this on Tuesday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital at the 38th annual scientific conference organized by the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, supported by the Partnership for Advocacy for Child and Family health and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
Pharm Mrs Olalere Emile, the Director Programme Coordinating Department of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, submitted that the government has clearly stated that there is need to engage the private sector in family planning system and that is why the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), initiated the program.
“The PCN needs to reposition the patient medicine vendors and in doing that, the PCN came with three tier accreditation system, is a mechanism that look at the accreditation of patient medicine vendors in the area of training and their ffacilitie, and the tier system has taken cognizance in improviseng their service delivery through training, the patient medicine vendor will have to undergo what we called the mandatory entry point Programme and that will be done for four weeks is a formal training.
“During that training alot of things are going to be done; we are going to train them on regulatory practices, we will train them on how to identify common illnesses in the community, how to use rapid diagnostic test for identify childhood diseases even covid and the rest of them, with that capacity development, they will be able to provide effective family planning.
“The patient medicine vendors have been certified into three groups each of them will be trained according to the level of service we require them to provide. Tier one, which is the lowest level, tier one will not provide inplants injectables but tier but tier two will do that because they have health training recognised by the PCN and their three are graduates of pharmacy technician institution who have what it takes to provide in the family planning space, injectables and implants that is why their capacity is being developed in this direction and for community pharmacy capacity is also being developed in this direction.”
She added that task shifting, the policy of the Federal Ministry of health is services that should be provided by the private sector of which is reproductive and family planning, HIV services, TB services maternal and child health will be provided.
The Federal Ministry of health according to her has made provision that if these people are going to be provided this services, their capacity needs to be strengthen saying, “we have partnership from NGOs implementive partners helping to strengthen their capacity for effective services delivery.”
Also speaking, Pharm Ibrahim Babaseu Ahmed, Director planning reasearch and statistics pharmacy Council of Nigeria, posits that health financing requires government and chief stakeholders in the private sectors, NGO and other philanthropist to continue to talk to themselves, have good understanding particularly government engaging them about what are the challenges, the inadequacy interns of resources, bring their interest onboard and have their support to ensure that we achieve universal health coverage.
“One of the key pillars of course is family health, having access to quality family planning care services which of course supposed to be undertaken by trained health professionals and appropriately regulated by Government and as well, adequately supervised by Government to ensure that quality health care service does not impact negatively on the citizens,” he said.
Dr Sunday Aderigbigbe, Consultant Public Health Physicians University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and National Vice President Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria noted that,
As part of the mandate of the association of public health physicians, “we are involved in all aspect of health, funding, health promotion, health prevention. We feel that funding for health is not enough. If you agree with me, the percentage national budget dedicated to health is so small compared to the dwindling health indices of the populace.
“We feel that health financing is an integral part of this conference to raise the awareness of the policy makers, what they can do to make sure that health funding is increase in this country so that the health indeces of our people can be better off.”