The House of Representatives on Wednesday in Abuja urged the Ministry of Health to ensure that all primary healthcare centres in the country are functional for effective service delivery.
The House also urged the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency to evolve a mechanism to take inventories at all the healthcare centres with a view to ascertaining their status.
This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Rep. Joseph Edionwhele entitled `Urgent Need to Revive the Primary Health Care Centres in Rural Communities’.
Moving the motion, Edionwhele expressed concern that dearth of staff and lack of equipment had rendered many health centres in the country non-functional.
He said that the poor state of facilities had caused the centres to be of no benefit to the citizenry, particularly those living in rural areas.
“This has contributed to the deteriorating health condition of the citizenry as noted in recent reports by the World Health Organisation and other multilateral agencies in terms of increasing child/maternal mortality rate.
“It has also led to the resurgence of child killer diseases and drop in average life expectancy in the nation and this calls for urgent action,’’ Edionwhele said.
Contributing to the motion, Rep. John Akinlaja (APC-Ondo), said there was need to equip existing primary health centres than establishing new ones.
“It is a great displeasure that many of the centres are not providing the needed services because there are no personnel, drugs and other facilities.
“In the past, these healthcare centres were akin to the dispensaries and as a school boy when one sustains injury while playing football we go there for treatment.
“But today the reverse is the case. So instead of building new health centres, let us concentrate on ensuring that the existing ones are revived.
“Many of them have been taken over by rodents,’’ Akinlaja said.
Rep. Ayo Omidiran (APC-Osun) said that provisions were made for upgrade of health centres across the country.
“As a member of the Committee on Healthcare Services, I can assure you that the upgrade of the centres was provided for in the 2017 budget and before it is fully executed, the centres will become upgraded and functional,’’ Omidiran added.
The Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, referred the motion to the Committee on Healthcare Services and Health Institutions to ensure implementation and report back in eight weeks.