Stakeholders Raise Concerns Over Agency’s Capacity to Deliver Drugs to PHCs in Kaduna

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Stakeholders working around Health Sector in Kaduna State have raised concerns over the capacity of the state owned agency saddled with the responsibility of procuring essential drugs and medical consumables for the state to effectively supply all the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state.

The concern is coming in view of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) implementation which may commence in the next few weeks in the state.

The Stakeholders, which includes; Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community Leaders and the Media are currently in Zaria, participating in a BHCPF 2020, Guideline orientation workshop, organized by the Lafiya Nigeria project.

According to them, entrusting drugs distribution to PHCs to the agency; Kaduna State Health Supplies Management Agency (KADHSMA) alone, might hinder the successful implementation of basic healthcare delivery in the state.

They noted that one of the fundamentals of the BHCPF is the provision of essential drugs in facilities and that a situation where enrollees would not be able to access those services.

They therefore recommend that the state should accredit some pharmacies so that PHCs across the state can buy drugs from those pharmacies based on their proximity.

They further noted that with KADHSMA, all the PHCs may not be able to get their drugs on time following the distance to the center and security concern in travelling.

They believed that with the accreditation of pharmacies to support KADHSMA, the availability of drugs at the PHCs will be more better and that the price will be also affordable.

Dr. Joseph Natsah of the State Primary Healthcare Agency, had in his presentation titled: National Primary Health Care Development Agency Gateway, BHCPF Funds Flow, said that only KADHSMA, have the right to procurement of drugs and other essential consumables for supply to the PHCs in the state.

One the participants who spoke with this newspaper, Mr. Benjamin Maigari, a member of the Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM), said since the NPHCDA gateway allows the PHCs to purchase drugs on their own, they should be giving that liberty to buy in pharmacies within their communities that could be accredited by the state.

“The challenge in Kaduna State, is that the state have a procurement law and all procurements; especially consumables and drugs are domicile at drug management agency, so for the state to fully implement the BHCPF, they need to understand the concept of how they should allow facilities to buy their own drugs.” Mr. Benjamin added.

In his opening remarks, Mr Elkana Aliyu, Accountability and Advocacy Coordinator, Lafiya Nigeria, Kaduna Office, explained that the training for the CSOs, became imperative because of their role in the society.

“Citizens engagement is something very critical in global development. And the reason for this engagement is to ensure that those who are close to the grassroot have first hand knowledge of the BHCPF guidelines.” Elkana said.

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