Nigeria Health Online

WHO, PSHAN sign pact to strengthen Nigeria’s Primary Health Care

As part of the innovative drive towards transforming primary healthcare delivery in Nigeria, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN) under the “Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility Program (ADHFP)”.

The signing ceremony by WHO Representative in Nigeria Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, and Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of PSHAN, Dr Tinuola Akinbolagbe, which took place on 4 April 2024. was witnessed by the Nigerian Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammed Ali Pate and the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Muyi Aina. 

The partnership between WHO and PSHAN signifies the collaborative effort to accelerate financing and access to quality primary health care delivery for improved health outcomes in Nigeria as the foundation for Universal Health Care Coverage (UHC) and health security. It comes at a time when the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare is rolling out implementation of the Health Sector Renewal Investment Program (HSRIP) and the innovative Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) in collaboration with the States, and development partners.

Delivering the keynote address. Professor Pate congratulated both organizations on the partnership and appreciated the contribution of notable stakeholders in the initiative which keys into the government’s health transformative agenda. 

“We are very pleased to see this beginning to gather momentum. It is good to see a partnership like this being crafted. A few years ago, the “Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility Program” was launched and we acknowledge the leaders who have contributed already. So, congratulations for keeping the flag flying and WHO also for supporting PSHAN. 

Making a call for more private sector collaboration in the health sector, Prof Pate advised WHO and PSHAN to prioritize tracking the progress recorded in the newly forged partnership. 

He explained that the government is particular about health and PHC as the basis for delivering health services to the people.

“It will government at the federal, state, and local government levels as well as the private sector to happen. In the spirit of a sector wide approach we are improving the quality of governance in the health space in terms of holding ourselves accountable at all levels and also private sector.

“I look forward to tracking progress that is being made in terms of facilities that are adopted and made functional and encourage the private sector to support this initiative under the oversight of NPHCDA which is the government institution that drives the primary healthcare agenda of the country”, he said.

In his opening remark, the WHO Representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo said that this unique partnership between WHO and PSHAN aims to leverage on the comparative advantages of the two organizations to accelerate primary healthcare revitalization towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and health security in Nigeria in line with the one plan, one budget, one report, and one conversation principles of the SWAp agenda of the Federal Ministry of Health. 

“This partnership is consistent with the WHO offer to the Government of Nigeria as encapsulated in the 4th Generation Nigeria Country Cooperation Strategy (CCSIV) which over the next 4 years, would guide our commitment and investment to ensure that no one is indeed left behind, in line with the GPW13 and ensuing GPW14.

As the secretariat to member states on health, there, the WHO is committed to providing ongoing technical assistance to PSHAN and NPHCDA on this project, to ensure capacity strengthening and adherence to guidelines, norms and standards: accountability for results and value for money, as well as expansion of the learning agenda through innovative financing evidence generation and use,” he stated. 

Delivering the welcome address, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of PSHAN, Dr Tinuola Akinbolagbe expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with WHO and reiterated the organization’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s healthcare sector towards achieving UHC by leveraging on the strengths, expertise, and resources of both partners to address pressing health challenges and improve health out comes across the country. 

“At the core of our partnership lies the visionary Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility Programme (ADHFP), a flagship initiative aimed at establishing global-standard Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas. 

This initiative embodies our collective resolve to bridge the gap between healthcare demand and supply, empower local communities, and catalyze systemic change from the grassroots up. Through targeted investments, capacity-building initiatives, and innovative approaches to service delivery, we aim to create a healthcare ecosystem that is resilient, responsive, and inclusive’, she stated.

Under the MOU, WHO and PSHAN will work together to identify priority areas for intervention, assess healthcare facilities in need of support, mobilize resources to implement targeted interventions, track results of achievements, and document best practices for ongoing learning and scale-up. 

As the country grapples with various health challenges, including high out-of-pocket payments, infectious diseases, maternal and child health issues, and non-communicable diseases, this partnership holds great promise in addressing complex healthcare challenges while using innovative approaches to drive positive change towards improved health outcomes for generations to come.

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