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Lagos to address brain drain, rehabilitate more primary healthcare centres

The Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB) says it will recruit more healthcare professionals and build more facilities to increase citizens’ access to services.

The permanent secretary of LSPHCB, Ibrahim Mustafa, disclosed this in an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Lagos.

Mr Mustafa noted that the board was not immune to the ‘Japa Syndrome’, adding that it had affected the number of its personnel and service delivery.

He, however, said the exit replacement system of the state, which ensures automatic personnel replacement, had assisted in cushioning the effect.

“Apart from that, we did a massive recruitment in 2022 and employed 980 staff. We are planning to double that number in 2024 and have made provision for that in our budget,” Mr Mustafa said.

According to him, the renewed focus on the primary level of care is part of the state’s effort to improve healthcare services at the grassroots level.

He noted that it would also strengthen health systems and be more proactive in detecting early signs of epidemics and responses.

Mr Mustafa disclosed that the 22 PHCs undergoing rehabilitation in the state’s five divisions were near completion, while four new PHCs would be constructed along the state’s prototype design.

He said the rehabilitation and construction of new PHCs was an ongoing effort, critical to early response to surges in demand for healthcare services.

Mr Mustafa emphasised that the state’s PHCs system revitalisation was to enhance quality and sustainable healthcare service delivery and achieve universal health coverage.

Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that an estimated 75 per cent of the projected health gains from the sustainable development goals could be achieved through PHC.

According to WHO, scaling up PHC interventions across low and middle-income countries can save 60 million lives and increase average life expectancy by 3.7 years by 2030.

(NAN)