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FG TO TRAIN 120,000 FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS ..... Set To Expand PHC's To 17,000

Prof Muhammad Ali Pate
Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare

"The federal government would begin the training of 120,000 frontline health workers for three years." Prof Pate

“The trainers have been trained in all the states of the federation, and I believe in the next one or two weeks, the training will commence. 

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate has announced plans by the Federal Goverment to expand the Public Health Centres in the country from 8,300 to 17,000 through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and make them functional to deliver essential services.

Pate stated this on Friday in Abuja at the ongoing sectoral ministerial press briefing to mark the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu in office.

The Minister, while giving his address at the press briefing, further revealed that, "there is the sum of N260 billion sitting right now at the states’ level. All the states of the federation have been mobilised for the revitalisation of the PHCs. This is a resource that is from the International Development Association, and from the Basic HealthCare Provision Fund."

"When we said we are going to revitalize our PHCs, the key to doing that is the resources to be available." He stated.

He disclosed that in the last couple of months, a lot of efforts have been put in place to mobilise the resources to be able to deploy and the states have this N260bn in their pockets available, adding that "the government will provide the states with guidelines for the implementation of the revitalisation and equipment of medical facilities."

“Before this administration, we had looked at the previous years’ audits of how some of these resources were being utilised, and we realised that there were major gaps in several states, and we addressed it through the National Economic Council through the Governor’s Forum." The Coordinating Minister of Health disclosed.

He commended the governors of the 36 states for their contributions following their discovery of the President's direction through the Health Sector Renewal Initiative.

Pate explained that hotlines would be provided for Nigerians to report if any of the resources are being misused.

He disclosed that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been instructed to keep an eye on the funds because the implementation is at the state level.

“We raised the resources but the states have to implement, but we have to make sure that the resources go to the intended objectives in terms of infrastructure equipment.”

In terms of job provision in the sector, Prof Pate told journalists that the federal government would begin the training of 120,000 frontline health workers for three years.

“The trainers have been trained in all the states of the federation, and I believe in the next one or two weeks, the training will commence. The guidelines have been revised, and printed and we raised the resources to be able to do that so that over the next three years, at least 120,000 frontline health workers, those who are serving our population in rural areas will have the capability, the skills, in addition to the infrastructure and the equipment that we have provided."

"President Tinubu is determined to unlock the healthcare value chain and to domesticate production capabilities to produce what Nigerians need.

“He approved the presidential initiative to unlock the healthcare value chain in October. Since then, we have made steady progress in terms of unlocking Nigeria’s healthcare value chain.

Pate told the gathering that, "the first policy measure is a draft executive order which we have now produced, and finalised, and if the President assents, it would reduce the barriers in terms of import of raw materials, import of equipment for pharmaceuticals and devices so that Nigerians will be able to produce what we need, whether it’s syringes or needles, whether it’s generic pharmaceuticals and also test kits, and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets for malaria."

Speaking on production of bed nets that are produced outside the country, he queried why such an item could not be produced here in our own country.

The Minister disclosed that international investors have indicated their interests in producing health and medical products in the Nigeria.

“The President has been very effective in marketing Nigeria, telling foreign partners that we are open for business and that means drawing foreign direct investment. We have seen that in many of the trips that he has taken abroad, and in the health sector, we have seen increasing interest from external investors who are willing to come and produce in Nigeria". He concluded.

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