Survey On PHC Financing, Turning Point For Nigeria’s Health Sector – NPHCDA ED

The executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Muyi Aina.
The executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Muyi Aina.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has revealed that its recent survey on primary healthcare (PHC) financing across three states is a significant step towards understanding the landscape of health financing in Nigeria. 

The agency’s executive director of NPHCDA, Dr. Muyi Aina highlighted this collaboration during the National Closeout and Dissemination Meeting of the Evidence for Action – ‘MamaYe Programme’ – a 12-year initiative aimed at improving maternal and newborn health through the accountable state actors.

Represented by the head of knowledge management at NPHCDA, Dr. Obafemi Michael, Aina stressed the importance of expanding the survey’s sample size for a more comprehensive analysis of PHC financing nationwide. 

Despite facing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings from 2021 to 2023 indicated significant improvements in health financing. Aina emphasised the necessity for continued collaboration and implementation research to effectively address the identified challenges.

In a discussion focused on “Delivering universal health coverage through localisation,” Aina outlined NPHCDA’s strategy, emphasising collaboration with local governments and communities. The agency has a robust presence at the grassroots level, working to enhance funding through initiatives like the Abuja Declaration. Aina highlighted the establishment of World Development Committees at the ward level, ensuring community ownership and supervision of primary healthcare activities.

Addressing the challenge of meeting healthcare financing targets, Aina acknowledged the Federal Government’s role in supporting states. He advocated for continuous advocacy and support to improve budget allocations to the health sector, underlining the significance of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund in supplementing state resources. Aina emphasised the need for sustained partnerships to achieve healthcare policy objectives.

NPHCDA has implemented mechanisms to track progress in healthcare provision, including quarterly meetings of state primary healthcare boards and the Forum of Executive Secretaries. These platforms facilitate discussions, engagements and intervention tracking, ensuring the effective implementation of healthcare initiatives. While specific percentage figures were not provided, Aina reiterated NPHCDA’s commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration with stakeholders.

Regarding maternal and child healthcare, Aina highlighted a dedicated division within NPHCDA responsible for such interventions. Although specific details on engagement were not provided, he emphasised the agency’s holistic approach through initiatives like PHC under one roof. Despite not offering detailed information on specific interventions, Aina reiterated the agency’s commitment to driving impactful healthcare initiatives, including the PHC financing survey conducted by his department.

E4A MamaYe country lead, Dr. Esther Agbon shared key achievements of the E4A programme in Nigeria. The programme, driven by evidence from policymakers, aimed to improve maternal and child health outcomes through state-led accountability mechanisms (SLAMs). Agbon highlighted the involvement of government actors in SLAMs, contributing to data credibility and trust. Successes in accountability, quality of care improvement and increased government allocation and releases for maternal and child health were noted, contributing to overall health system strengthening in supported states. The conclusion of this intervention phase marks the closeout of the E4A-Mamaye programme in Nigeria.

Racheal Abujah
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