Medical Health Officers serving in the nations’ Primary Healthcare Centres have cried out over the continued dilapidated conditions of many of the centres urging President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately sign the National Health Bill before him into law. President of the Association of Medical Officers of Health Nigeria (AMOHN), Dr. Segun Ayodele, at opening of the association’s first national scientific conference in Lagos bemoaned the condition of the infrastructure in most of the centres saying, “there cannot be a better time to rebuild this level of care than now especially with the recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease”. Ayodele said: “The recent Ebola outbreak and response in Nigeria underscores the concept of Primary Healthcare”.
He pointed out that the Medical Officers of Health of the two states-Lagos and Rivers States- where the outbreak has occurred, played significant roles in the response both in the crisis phase and sustenance phase of the campaign.
He noted that the Health Bill which is now before the President was conceived with the aim to address most of the salient issues saying, “unless the Bill becomes a Law, PHC will continue to suffer setback”.
In his keynote address, Governor Babatunde Fashola who was represented by Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, enlisted the continued support of Medical Officers of Health in reversing the disease pattern that has characterised the local communities through more commitment. He said the State government has over the years committed more resources to upgrade some of the PHCs to Comprehensive status with 24 hours services as well as buld Maternal and Child centres to reduce maternal and infant mortality.
Fashola enjoined the Medical Officers of Health to see the work at the PHC as task to sae humanity which is the basis of their calling.
Also addressing the meeting, Professor of Community Health, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Michael Asuzu, in his presentation titled: ‘PHC: Bedrock of a Healthy Nation’ lamented that the breakdown of the infrastructure at this first tier of healthcare over the years has led to the desertion by Medical doctors.