TO establish a long-term framework for Primary Health Care workforce development, training, and retention, the Federal Government of Nigeria has begun training 120,000 frontline health workers to provide integrated service delivery, particularly at the grassroots level.

The training, designed by the National Primary Care Development Agency and her collaborative partner, is to strengthen their capacity in critical service areas and accelerate improvement in the country’s health outcomes in 37,000 primary healthcare facilities across Nigeria.

Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Oluwaseresimi Ajetunmobi, declaring the 5-day training of trainers for the selected 160 frontline health workers in Oyo State, said the training will empower them to improve the health care centres and services they are able to render in the country.

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Ajetunmobi, who spoke through the Ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Kehinde Ayinde, said this will also go a long way to bridge the human resource gap and complement the rehabilitated and refurbished primary healthcare centres in the nation.

“They have less access to secondary health centres, but the primary health centres can ensure equity and quality of services. So, the training of primary healthcare human resources is one of the most effective interventions that can contribute to quality health services in the state. Through this training, I hope there will be improvements in quality of life and a reduction in both mortality and morbidity.

“When you get to your catchment areas, I want you to cascade this training so that other people will also benefit from it, and then we can improve the quality of life of our people.”

Dr Muideen Olatunji, Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, said that the training is holistic to reposition the primary care service delivery as a first level of care and to ensure a strong foundation in the primary healthcare sector.

On gaps in human resources for health, he stated that over 14,000 personnel are needed for a qualitative standard health care service delivery in PHCs in Oyo State based on minimum service package and gap analysis, but there are less than 5,000 personnel.

Dr Olatunji said requests for more health workers have already been made to Governor Seyi Makinde to engage more health personnel in the state’s healthcare delivery scheme.

“Governor Makinde has graciously dually approved that 30% of our need should be recruited now, and which approval has been granted. We are only trying to fine-tune the necessary protocol to get it done so that we can close that gap, he said.

“We’ve engaged some ad hoc personnel on a contract basis under the basic health care provision, about 120 midwives. Also, we engaged more than 264 CHIPS agents in the state to augment what we have. “

State Coordinator for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMI-S) Project, Dr Oluwayemisi Ayandipo, declared that PMI-S was supporting all eight states implementing the PMI for State project to conduct the State Training of Trainers (STOT), which is mainly to build capacity of healthcare providers at the LGA and the health facilities.

In a remark, Mrs Adijat Ogundare, the National Primary Care Development Agency, Oyo state coordinator, and the National Team Lead for this programme said the 160 health workers, including nurses, doctors, and community health extension workers, are expected to step down the training to 4 healthcare workers per primary healthcare clinic in their respective local government area.

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