The Federal Ministry of Health(FMoH), has said the focus on Primary Health Care (PHC), in the country is timely and well-placed, considering that PHC has been identified as the path to Universal Health Coverage(UHC), a goal the country continues to pursue.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said this yesterday in Abuja at the 2022 edition of the annual National Health Dialogue.
The Tide source reports that the high-level platform was organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), in collaboration with Premium Times, to advance conversations around key health issues in Nigeria and Africa by extension.
The 2022 dialogue is themed: “Primary Health Care Financing; Role of State and Non-state Actors”.
Ehanire, who was represented by Director of Health Planning Research and Statistics, FMOH, Dr Ngozi Azodoh,said UHC was key to the health and well-being of all Nigerians as it guaranteed needed quality healthcare services for all persons without financial hardship.
He said that the country’s journey to UHC had been slow, but remarkable milestones have been achieved, adding that with heightened efforts to revitalise and strengthen the PHC system, he is confident that the country would inch closer to attaining UHC.
He said that several challenges have bedevilled the country’s healthcare system, describing some of these challenges as shortage and maldistribution of healthcare workers, dilapidated infrastructure, and weak referral systems.
He, however, said that limited financing for the PHC system stands out as a factor that has significantly limited the advancement of the healthcare system.
“The National Health Account reports published over the past decade indicate that expenditure on PHC has been sub-optimal, with significant spending on curative healthcare.
“The inadequacy in funding the PHC system has negatively impacted the delivery of services such as immunisation and maternal and child health services.
“Robust financing would require collaborative efforts of both state and non-state actors, while state actors in government continue to play their roles to ensure that more public resources are available for the PHC systems, a significant proportion of the progress with financing for PHC is dependent on the role of non-state actors,” he said.
The minister said that the private sector, civil society organisations, the media, faith-based organisations, trade unions, professional organisations, academia, community groups, and private citizens alike can all contribute to financing PHC in Nigeria.
He said the country has continued to make efforts to improve the proportion of resources allocated to the PHC system, noting that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) has been a game changer and resulted in increased financing for the PHC system through the different gateways.
Speaking on “PHC financing, the role of government in achieving optimum PHC performance”, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said that it has been recognised that health is a fundamental universal right for all.
Firm Launches Citizens’ Demand Website To Deepen OGP
A Kaduna-based Information Technology organisation, Ihifix Technologies, has inaugurated a citizens’ demand website and mobile application to deepen Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Kaduna State.
The application website, https://citizensdemand.org/ was inaugurated in Kaduna, during the Ihifix Digital Summit for Development, with the theme, “Leveraging Digital Technologies for Sustaining the Gains of OGP”.
The Tide Source reports that the summit was organised in collaboration with Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) and OGP Technical Working Group on Citizens Engagement.
The event was supported by the Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn, a governance programme of the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The Ihifix Team Lead, Mr Emmanuel Adikpe, explained that the website and mobile application were designed in partnership with CALPED to enable citizens to upload their needs with a view to inform the budget.
Adikpe said applications developed in line with the principle of OGP, were intended to deepen citizens engagement in governance by ensuring that their voices were heard, and needs captured in the state budget.
According to him, citizen participation is critical in ensuring transparency and accountability in governance and a key attribute of good governance, critical to Nigeria’s development.
He also explained that the effort was to deploy digital technology to deepen citizens’ engagement in the governance process, particularly the Community Development Charter (CDC).
NIGCOMSAT Set To Deploy 5G Satellite
Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) says plans are underway to deploy 5G, using a new satellite known as NIGCOMSAT 2.
It also said the NIGCOMSAT 2 would be launched into orbit by the first quarter of 2023 to enhance coverage.
Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Dr Ambibola Alale, made this known at a stakeholders engagement forum organised by the agency in Lagos recently.
He informed that the satellite would backhaul the services of 5G once telecom operators deploy the fifth generation network services.
In his view, the backhauling meant getting data to a point which could be distributed via the optic fibre or network.
Alale also disclosed that the government planned to provide 70 per cent broadband by 2025, and that NIGCOMSAT would keep working with other technology providers to be able to deliver broadband services to all Nigerians.
The Deputy General Manager, Satellite Control and Operations, NIGCOMSAT, Dr. Anthony Orjinta, during a panel discussion, said satellite had always been supporting all GSM operators.
“Satelite has always been serving areas that are underserved, because we all know that the cost of deploying terrestrial sites is quite expensive, but fibre deployment is even more costly due to our environment.
“As the 2G, 3G, 4G technologies are evolving, so also are the technologies in the satellite industry.The enhanced capacities that are available in other technologies are also coming along in the satellite space”, he said.
Orjinta stated that originally when the telecom industry started, Nigeria only had voice calls but with evolution, things changed.
He explained that NIGCOMSAT was in the process of launching a new satelite which would be one of the first in Africa and a deal breaker .
Accordingly, he has revealed that the satellite would provide back haul services for all 5G operations, while simultaneously delivering services of the same comparative capacity to underserved areas and dark spots that were not economically viable for terrestrial operators.
He also hinted that terrestrial operators would not want to deploy 5G in areas that are not profitable.
“We have had situations where companies put in terrestrial traffic data locations and actually took them off because they were not making enough money”, he said.
The theme of the event was “NIGCOMSAT: The Roadmap for Enhanced Service Delivery”.
Don Invents Tool For Hardenability Determination
A University Teacher, Don, Prof. Jacob Aweda, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), has designed and evaluated what he called the ‘Jominy End Quencher’ apparatus for the determination of hardenability of steel materials.
Aweda disclosed this during his paper presentations at the 217th inaugural lecture of the institution titled, “Engineering Technology and Manipulation of Process Parameters”, in Illorin recently.
According to the Don, Hardenability of steel was the property of material that determines the depth of the hardness of material when cooled in a desirable quenchant from its austenising temperature.
The scholar, who lectures in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, explained that this was measured through the determination of the depth of hardness of the standard size and the shape of the steel in a controlled standardised environment, which the apparatus was used for.
He noted that in many research centres and tertiary institutions, appropriate testing equipment were either not easily available or obsolete.
“Added to this is the cost of testing, which is enormous, charges are high where necessary equipment are available.This may probably be due to high initial cost of procurement and high cost of maintenance of such equipment.
“If access to research equipment is readily available and at an affordable cost, the risk of travelling long distances and paying so much for material evaluation will reduce.
“Currently, due to the non-availability of required laboratory equipment, many researchers send test samples outside the country resulting in the reduction of the number of samples required for testing, which may not be a good representative of the overall result,” he said.
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