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The Kaduna State government is recruiting about 3,000 health workers, Hamza Abubakar, the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), has said.

This is to bridge the human resource gap in the Primary Health Care system in the state, he added.

Mr Abubakar said an advert for the recruitment exercise would be made public during the week.

He was responding to ways the state is tackling challenges identified in the implementation of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) policy.

A team of assessors from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) visited his office on Friday.

The assessors had been in the state since Monday for the annual scorecard assessment exercise to measure the progress of the state in implementing the PHCUOR policy.

The exercise, concurrently done across the 36 states and the FCT to continuously review successes and failures in the implementation of the policy, was conducted by the NPHCDA in collaboration with the Development Research and Project Centre (DRPC).

Each state is being measured on the implementation of the nine pillars of the PHCUOR policy.

PHCUOR is a policy to reduce bottlenecks and fragmentation in the delivery of PHC services by integrating all the services under one authority.

It mandates every state to create an (SPHCDA) as a single management body to control all PHC services and resources especially funding, staff enrollment and payment of salaries.

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Briefing the executive secretary on the outcome of the assessment exercise, Romoke Olalekan, the lead assessor noted major constraints to full implementation of the policy.

They are poor legislation, inadequate manpower, and insufficient cash backing.

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‘Uphill task’

Responding, Mr Abubakar said managing over 5,000 staff and 1, 600 PHCs who are “now directly under the SPHCDA is an uphill task.

“The PHCs used to be under the local government but are now under us as required by the policy. They are now our responsibility so it is work”, he explained.

The executive secretary said the SPHCDA is to be funded by both the state and local governments.

On poor cash backing, he said, “Nigeria general is facing liquidity challenges and Kaduna is no exemption. We have that challenge too. The whole civil service in the state and Ministries, Departments and Agencies are all facing a similar challenge.”

The official, however, said the coming of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund will boost the implementation of the PHCUOR.

He said the state signed an MOU with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which will also provide adequate resources to strengthen the programme.

“We just submitted our annual budget and we added a fund line on operational expenditure for the programme,” he said.

On inadequate human resources, Mr Abubakar said the agency has received approval from the governor to recruit over 3,000 healthcare workers. “The adverts will be made public starting from next week.”

The executive secretary said the fact that many LGHAs and the PHCs do not have signpost is not deliberate but because many of them – especially the LGHAs – are undergoing renovations.

“When we visit these facilities, we will ensure they fix their signposts. But before then, we will send a circular that will ensure that all signposts are appropriately fixed”.

The official also lauded the scorecard assessment exercise, saying it helps states to keep in tune with their progress and shortfalls in enforcing the policy.

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