Taraba Primary Health Care Development Agency PHCDA, a Parastatal of the State Ministry of Health recently flagged off the distribution of equipments, consumables and drugs to Primary Health Care Facilities in the State. In this interview, the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Alhahji. Aminu Jauro Hassan spoke at length about the activities of the Agency and many more. The excerpts :
Can you please tell our readers more about your Agency? :
Taraba Primary Health Care Development Agency is a Parastatals of the State Ministry of Health saddled with the responsibility of providing preventive, curative and rehabilitative services in the Sixteen Local Government Areas of the State.
The agency serves as an anchor that facilitates, supervise and monitor the implementation of Integrated Primary Health Care Services to the good people of Taraba State. We find solace in the adage of His Excellency, Governor Darius Ishaku “give me peace and I will give you development”. We are very excited because our dear Governor is committed about the health of our people as well as health related activities in the State.
To put it on record, this agency is just two years and four months old from establishment. We were the last to come on board in the entire North-east of Nigeria, but as record can show, we are the second best in the same North-east in terms of repositioning and provision of services to the good people of Taraba State. We have achieved Eighty – Five percent repositioning of the agency.
As you can see, the building we are occupying right now was as a result of the express approval given by His Excellency due to what he has seen us achieve within a short period that our operations began. He was gracious enough to give us such a beautiful edifice, and we in return will not relent but keep aiming for the best service we can provide. Ours is to provide the services required of us as an agency to women and children as well as the Communities in our State.
What is the Save One Million Lives Project all about?
The program where you witnessed the distribution of those items was the Save One Million Lives Project. The project is domiciled at the State Ministry of Health, but the Ministry works with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency considering the fact that, Eighty percent of the Save a Million Lives Project is domiciled in the agency. So, there’s that synergy between the Ministry of Health and the Agency.
Now, we developed the proposal about one and half years ago. It is a concept initiated by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Development Partners and the Agency to come up with the way forward to upgrade our Health facilities to a level of excellence where our Communities, parents, women and children can acess our Primary Health Care delivery.
It is very wrong for a person with minor fever in the rural area to travel up to the General Hospital or Tertiary Health Care facility. It is highly uncalled for. Once our primary health care is functional and have all it requires, drugs,equipment and what have you, there will be no need for anybody to to go to the General Hospital.
Primary health care takes care of seventy five percent of our health care needs in the rural area. Fifteen percent is being taken care of by the secondary health facility and ten percent is is taking care of by the tertiary which is the Teaching Hospitals. So, the bulk of of the work is domiciled in the Agency and by implication, the Local Government Areas. That is why this concept is being initiated to support, improve, upgrade and monitor those doing the work at the Local Government Area through the State Ministry of Health to the Agency.
We are among the first States that secured approval of USD1. 5million dollars purposely for that activity and the account of Taraba Ministry of Health under the Save One Million Lives was credited with that amount. We divided the proposal into three, procurement, training, monitoring and supervision. Procurement has been completed.
It will interest you to note that three hundred and thirty staff have been trained on vaccines management, two hundred and twenty were also trained in PMTC prevention of mother to child HIV/AIDS and that is how the program is expected to evolve. The procurement was done to facilitate service delivery.
Our next step is to look at our proposals and commence distribution of the drugs to our health facilities to start using it on our clients.
The essence is to stimulate demand. For example, if a woman will visit our health facilities for Ante – Natal, first contact, she will be given a pack of Maggi cubes, that will encourage her to come back for the next round. Once she visits again, she will be given all the medical examination and a shot of TT plus a treated mosquito net, this will serve as a motivating factor for them to come and deliver at our health facilities given the fact that there are quacks who carry out clandestine activities in our Communities. It is very important for our mothers to have skilled birth delivery to minimize maternal mortality and marternal morbidity in our respective health facilities.
What are the challenges you have encountered since assumption of office :
Challenges are inevitable so one has to tighten his belt and brace up for it. We are overcoming them gradually. We hope to sustain training of our staff to ensure efficiency. We are grateful for the choice of our board chairman Hon. Victor Bala Kona who has been of great help in seeing that our challenges are quickly dispensed. Our Governor has in no small measure being there for us. He gives me the listening ear whenever I put a request through to him.
We have a monthly imprest and His Excellency was gracious enough to approve our take off grant. We are working hard to repositioning our staff and all the critical stakeholders have seen the need to have us around.
Taraba State Primary Health Care Development Agency is poised to uplift health care delivery services in our community.