Katsina state Government allocates N10 billion for construction of primary health centres

Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State has announced the allocation of over N10 billion to the chairmen of the state’s 34 local government areas.

This fund is earmarked for the construction of primary health centres (PHCs), aiming to bolster healthcare infrastructure and services across the region.

During an interactive session with journalists on Monday, Governor Radda emphasized the critical need for functional primary health centres in rural communities.

The allocated funds

He noted that three new PHCs would be built in each local government area, aligning with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) resolution advocating for accessible and efficient healthcare facilities in rural areas.

“When I became the governor, I talked about the World Health Organisation’s resolution on the need to have functional primary health centres in rural areas that can work 24 hours,” Radda stated.

“The aim is to reduce child and maternal mortality and other difficulties faced by rural people whenever they are sick.”

Governor Radda highlighted the multifaceted benefits of these healthcare centres, including the provision of round-the-clock services by professional health workers, availability of ambulances for emergency transfers to secondary healthcare facilities, and adequate accommodation for healthcare staff.

  • He highlighted the importance of ensuring a steady supply of drugs, potable water, and electricity to maintain the operational efficiency of these centres.
  • A significant aspect of this initiative involves collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), which will provide the PHCs with running costs ranging from N250,000 to N400,000.

“This fund is enough for the running of daily activities of the centres. But we cannot benefit from the fund until we have fully functional healthcare centres,” Radda explained.

The governor acknowledged the potential impact of these centres in decongesting urban hospitals and improving the overall health standards of the rural populace.

  • However, he also pointed out the challenges ahead, particularly in staffing the new facilities.

“The only challenge we are going to face is staffing, because we have shortages of staff to man these centres. To recruit health workers is not easy now, but we will do that in due course,” he said.

What you should know

Currently, Katsina State has over 5,000 casual staff, and confirming their positions would significantly increase the salary burden.

“If we are to confirm them, their salaries would double that of the over 7,000 teachers recently recruited,” Radda noted, highlighting the financial strain given that the salaries of some health workers almost triple those of teachers.

Despite these hurdles, Governor Radda assured that the recruitment of health workers would proceed as planned.

“Before the end of the year, we’ll make sure that no fewer than 361 functional primary health care centres are provided in the state,” he affirmed.

Katsina State, located in northern Nigeria, has faced significant healthcare challenges, particularly in its rural areas.

  • Historically, these regions have struggled with inadequate healthcare facilities, leading to high rates of maternal and child mortality.
  • The state’s healthcare system has been overwhelmed, with urban hospitals frequently experiencing congestion due to the influx of patients from rural areas.

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