Some medical experts in Katsina State have urged the government to recruit more personnel for its understaffed primary healthcare centers (PHCs).
They also advocated the need for the government to procure additional modern equipment for the centers to enhance healthcare delivery at the grassroots level.
They made the call on Monday in separate interviews in Katsina.
A retired nurse, Mr Ibrahim Aliyu, said that PHCs were established to promptly respond to emergencies at the grassroots level, thereby reducing the burden of the secondary healthcare facilities.
Aliyu, however, alleged that some of the centers faced inadequacy of staff and equipment needed to enhance their work.
He, therefore, urged the State Government to put measures in place to recruit adequate health personnel and also provide facilities for the centers to function optimally.
Also, a trained Community Health Extension Worker, Yunusa Abdulkarim, further urged the government to provide ambulances to all PHCs for conveyance of patients to referral hospitals and other purposes necessary to improve healthcare delivery.
Abdulkarim also urged the government to do more in providing adequate water and sanitation facilities in the facilities.
He said that providing potable water at the centers would particularly help to enhance personal hygiene and environmental sanitation at the PHCs.
He said that the centers also required effective public conveniences to discourage patients from the ugly practice of open defecation.
Responding, the Executive Secretary, State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPHDA), Dr Shamsuddeen Yahaya, said the state had over 1,700 PHCs.
“Almost all the facilities are operational except in areas with high security challenges.
He listed some wards that had become inaccessible due to insecurity to include Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Sabuwa, Faskari, Dandume, Kankara and Jibia.
Yahaya also said that a few other centers were affected by flood, pointing out that “most of them are operational with few closed down either due to insecurity or dilapidation.
“We have at least 7,000 permanent staff, with each LGA having 100 ad-hoc staff to complement the permanent staff,” he said
The SPHDA boss said the agency had also engaged 430 technical staff under GAVI/HSS program to enhance service delivery at the centers.
“Gov. Dikko Radda directed that at least 102 facilities should be fully renovated and made functional next year.
“This is in addition to 34 PHCs that are to be renovated before the end of this year.
“During the first two months of this administration, a detailed needs assessment of primary, secondary and health training institutions was conducted to identify gaps in infrastructure, equipment and human resources,” Yahaya said.