The Federal Government, in collaboration with development partners, says it has concluded plans to engage 200, 000 voluntary health workers to improve immunisation, antenatal care and other health services.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), made the disclosure in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Shuaib, according to the statement signed by Mr Saadu Salahu, Head, Public Relations Unit, spoke while receiving the Country Representative of UNICEF, Dr Mohammad Fall, in his office.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government had recently flagged off a scheme to revitalise over 10,000 healthcare centres across Nigeria.
The scheme is to avail poor Nigerians with qualitative and affordable healthcare services.
Under the initiative, the NPHCDA wants to make at least one primary healthcare centre fully functional to deliver a number of services in each of the wards nationwide.
Shuaib noted that the plan was initially to deploy 20 voluntary village health workers to each political ward of nine polio endemic states.
The agency’s executive director said that the plan was expanded to cover each political ward to bring the number of voluntary health workers to 200,000 when the 10, 000 PHCs become operational.
He said that 17, 000 voluntary community workers would mobilise people and create awareness for active participation in immunisation in the nine high risk polio states.
Shaibu said that the agency was working closely with the State Primary Healthcare Boards across the country to improve primary healthcare delivery.
He said the agency was working with security agencies to ensure children in areas liberated by the military in the North-East were nutritionally rehabilitated and immunised against polio and other vaccine preventable diseases.
The UNICEF Country Representative said that Nigeria played a critical leadership position in Africa and the world at large.
Fall noted the enormous health challenges arising from the crisis in the North-East and the imperative of UNICEF partnership with NPHCDA to address the challenges.
The two organisations had agreed to consolidate on their collaboration to end polio transmission, strengthen routine immunisation, nutritional services and effective implementation of primary healthcare revitalisation.