A health expert in Kaduna State, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim, has identified inadequate human resources as major challenge facing the primary health care system in the state.
Dr. Ibrahim while speaking at the grand finale of the Open Government Partnership week at the weekend, with the theme, “promoting accountability in health sector, using the PHC Under-One-Roof model”, said, recruitment and deployment of health workers to PHC facilities in the right number and skill mix, including development of guidelines for recruitment of staff are still major issues.
He enumerated other issues as follows; “facilitating the provision of adequate and conducive work environment (offices) at the other levels, developing and implementing transfer exemption policy for certain critical trained health care personnel (where it deems appropriate). Promoting equity in the distribution of HRH while ensuring gender balance and social inclusion.”
The paper presenter at the event, noted that, “no matter how exquisite and elegant the structures and state of the art equipment in the healthcare sector , the Human resource fundamental role can never be subjugated. Doing so is at the peril of the institution.”
Dr Ibrahim, however said despite the issues around staff trainings, staff capacity building and then the mix of the staff that are yet to be deployed, redistribution are ongoing based on equity not equality across the wards, all the primary health centres that are in the state are still improving.
“We know that the current numbers of staff are not enough, we only make do of what we have, these are the areas we are trying to make improvement. Apart from the board trying to push for more funding in supporting staff recruitment for the agency, there’s need for pressure groups to really sensitive policy makers to bring more to get more staff.” He added.
In his remarks, Chairman, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Kaduna State, Dr. Sani Muhammed Jibrin, disclosed that because of the human resources challenge, the state Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has already given an approval for the recruitment of 3095 staff into the primary health care facilities.
“But we have not done that yet because of some logistics issue, but we are hoping very soon, we are going to achieve that. He said.
Dr. Sani explained that, “before Malam Nasir el-Rufai, assume office, Primary Health Care were scattered and fragmented, you will find the services of various MDAs elsewhere, but now the way we are operating is that, everything is put under one roof. We now have one management, one plan, one monitoring and evaluation, everything concerning PHC is now under the agency.
“When we came in 2015, because of the fragmentation, the total score for PHC in Kaduna was less than 40%, but now with transfer of staff to all the LGAs, with the renovation of health care facilities, 255 across the state, with renovation of health office in the LGAs, we are now scored over 70% and we are hope that by the end of 2019, we would reach 100%. So that is where we are now exactly.
“We are calling on civil society organizations and the international NGOs working in Kaduna state to put heads together with us so we can pull our resources together for the health challenges in the state so as to address wastages.
“What am saying is, if you come in with you own resources, another NGO, come with her own, government too has her own resources and each one want to do what they want without putting heads together, you will find out that there is going to be duplication of activities and that will lead to wastages, the is one of the main issues we are discussing here, that’s how to harness resources together and how to use CSOs to advocate for prompt release of funding from government.”
Earlier, Co-Chair of OGP in Kaduna state, Mallam Mustapha Jumare who doubled as the Chair, Initiative for Integrated Grassroots Empowerment and Support in partnership with Development Research and Project Centre (IIGES-PAS), explained that, the programme is all about coming together of stakeholders on PHC under one roof as it aligned to open government partnership (OGP).
He said the programme focuses more on letting the people know more about the PHC under one roof, know about OGP and then link them up together for accountability and transparency in the health sector with particular reference to PHC under one roof.
“The event is supposed to host people from the primary health care development agency, Abuja, co-chairs from Kano and Niger States for experience sharing and chairman of PHCA and other partners working on immunization, family planning and all.
“We will be receiving a little study on human resources for health as it affects in PHC under one roof to know where we are, what the challenges and how can move forward tomorrow. We will also have experience from the three zones around human resources in the health sector.”