Primary health made easy for Taraba rural communities

Rural dwellers in Taraba State now have better health services with the implementation of the Nigerian State Health investment project (NSHIP), our state correspondent reports.

Mallam Musa Muhammad, aged 65, had an accident while going to his farm on his motorcycle. He was brought to the health clinic at Kasuwan Ladi along Bali-Jalingo road in Taraba State. The facility he was brought to and admitted was equipped with medical equipment and qualified personnel to attend to his case. 

His village, Kankam, is located across a river and it takes hours to reach Ardo-Kola or Jalingo. The facility in which he was admitted was one out of many of such facilities that were upgraded by the Taraba State Government under the health investment project. If it were in previous years, Mallam Muhammad will have to be taken to Sunkani or Jalingo where a cottage and specialist hospital is located. The upgrading of facilities at health centres across nine local government areas of the state has brought relief to residents of rural areas as they no longer travel to long distances to seek medical attention. Muhammed on his sickbed told Daily Trust on Sunday that he was brought to the centre by his son soon after the incident. According to him, he was given prompt medical attention by the medical staff and he is getting better. He expressed satisfaction over the services rendered to him at an affordable rate. Also, Mrs. Mary Bulus whose eight months baby, Abigail was admitted at Zangon Kwambi in Ardo-Kola Local Government Area told Daily Trust on Sunday that her daughter was taken good care since her admission at the centre. She said the condition of her daughter has improved very well. According to her, the result of tests carried out on her daughter showed that she has malaria and treatment started immediately. Mrs. Bulus explained that in previous years, most patients coming to the centre were referred to Jalingo due to lack of basic facilities and personnel. The facilities, it was gathered were upgraded under the Nigerian State Health Investment Project (NSHIP) which the state government is implementing. Ardo-Kola local government was first to benefit from the pilot programme where the Sunkani Primary Health Centre was renovated and provided with better equipment. Most parts of Taraba State have difficult terrain marked by mountains and rivers that made many communities inaccessible especially during the rainy season. Therefore the project came as a relief to rural communities who in the past face difficulty in getting medical services. Daily Trust on Sunday findings revealed that apart from Ardo-Kola, Bali, Karim-Lamido, Sardauna, Takum, Jalingo, Wukari and Gassol are now covered by the project. Similarly, nine general hospitals in eight local government areas are benefiting from the project. It was further gathered that NSHIP through its capacity building component has sponsored project implementation unit members and other state actors on both national and international courses and workshops. This has improved the quality of services being provided while standard laboratories and labour rooms for safe delivery have also been provided. Before the programme, most rural communities were patronizing patents, medicine stores and drugs venders but with the facilities at their doorsteps, the communities have increased patronage of the health centres. The Executive Secretary of state primary Health care development agency, Alhaji Aminu Jauro Hassan told Daily Trust on Sunday that the state government has focused its attention on improving quality health care delivery services. According to him, much was achieved in the area of primary health care services as a result of the partnership the state government is having with NSHIP. The executive secretary also revealed that other objectives of the project were to increase the use of high impact maternal and child health intervention as well as to improve quality of health care to the people. He said qualified health workers and equipment were provided in many selected health facilities. These services are now at the doorsteps of rural dwellers and now no longer travel long distances to get medical services as the was the case.