The Federal Government has disclosed plans of engaging 200,000 community health extension workers as replacement to medical doctors operating in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs)nationwide.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Centre (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, made this known during an inaugural quarterly media interaction organised in collaboration with Community Health Research Initiative(CHR) in Abuja.
According to him, community health extension workers and nurses were most appropriate to attend to minor health cases, leaving doctors to attend to complicated issues at the secondary and tertiary health levels.
“In actual fact, we do not need doctors in primary health care facilities. We need community health extension workers, we need midwives, we need nurses in our primary health care facilities. The doctors are expected to work in the secondary and tertiary health care facilities.
“There are 25,000 community health extension workers across the country but we are scaling up to have 200,000 community health workers.
“We need people living closest to the communities to work in the primary health care facilities, where they are well known, where they are trusted and that is why we need to strengthen the PHC facilities, so that community health extension workers, community health officers will manage the basic cases like malaria,” he said.
Shuaib explained that the community health extension workers would be responsible women with at least an elementary school education with the ability to provide simple cure, carefully selected by the community members, community chiefs, opinion leaders, civil society organisations within the community.
He further noted that the traditional birth attendants, who form part of the 25,000 community health workers, would be granted additional training to expand their scope.
According to him, this was to eliminate situations where unskilled workers take deliveries, and to ensure that all deliveries are carried out in healthcare facilities where if there is a complication, it would be immediately addressed before it gets too late.
Credit: New Telegraph