Brief History of Primary Health Care in Nigeria

This article talks about the history and concepts that have driven Primary Health Care (PHC) in Nigeria { History of Primary Health Care in Nigeria }. PHC is a grass-roots approach to provide health care services to communities. The Federal Government of Nigeria launched the Primary Health Care plan (PHC) in the National Health Policy of 1988 as the cornerstone of the Nigerian health system as part of efforts to improve equity in access and utilization of basic health services.

Brief History of Primary Health Care in Nigeria

The new health system was intended to affect the entire national population, with a main objective of ;

  • Improving the collection and monitoring of health data in Nigeria.
  • To ensure the availability of essential drugs in all areas of the country.
  • The implementation of an Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) across the country.
  • To boost the promotion of health awareness.
  • To aid the development of the national family health program.
  • Improved nutrition standards throughout the country

The concept is relevant to achieving availability of quality health care for all Nigerians. However, a persistent effort at implementation of PHC at all levels is necessary to maximize the benefits of this health care approach.

Since conception, the Primary Health Care in Nigeria has significantly evolved through various stages of development. In the year 2005, PHC facilities were found to make up over 85% of health care facilities in Nigeria.

On History of Primary Health Care in Nigeria :

As said earlier, developments in the Primary Health Care in Nigeria have evolved over the years. Historically, there have been three major attempts in Nigeria at evolving and sustaining this people and community oriented health system. The first attempt occurred between 1975 and 1980 which saw the introduction of Basic Health Services Scheme (BHSS). The second attempt was led by late Professor Olukoye Ransome-Kuti occurred between the year 1986 and 1992 was witnessed the development of model primary health care in fifty two (52) Local Government Areas. The third attempt to make PHC accessible to the grassroots was heralded by the establishment of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) in the year 1992.

Who Are Involved in primary Health Care Delivery

In Nigeria, health care workers involved in Primary Health Care (PHC) delivery include :

  • Doctors,
  • Nurses,
  • Midwives, Laboratory scientists,
  • Community health workers,
  • Laboratory technicians,
  • and health assistants

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