Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Shamaki, said government should strengthen primary and secondary healthcare system in order to curb the current healthcare indicators.
Shamaki stated this when she officially resumed duty at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
She said although the primary responsibility of government is tertiary healthcare, university teaching hospitals and federal medical centres, it is time to redirect attention.
“We are responsible for the health of the nation. We have to find a way of working with the state and local governments to improve secondary and primary health care indicators.”
Responding, the Director of Health Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr Ngozi Azodoh, said the redeployment of Shamaki, who is also a medical doctor, as the new permanent secretary will boost healthcare delivery services.
“We want to thank God that you have made a commitment and we know that you will stand by it. We have already pledged even before you resumed that this ministry will support and work for you,” she said.
However, reports from the United Nations International Children’s Fund, UNICEF, showed that Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age every day. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world. This development has made it expedient for the strengthening of the healthcare system at the primary level.
Nigerians in rural areas have less or no access to modern healthcare compared to those in urban centres. Fewer medical practitioners and ill-equipped healthcare facilities in these areas often mean less preventive care and longer response time in emergency cases.
Health experts also said that to arrest Nigeria’s worsening health indicators; it is time to shift focus to rural communities and the poor populace who otherwise may not have the financial weight of a rapidly changing health sector.

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