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Two non-governmental organisations in Akwa Ibom State, Policy Alert and Ukana West II Community-based Health Insurance (CBHI), have today agreed on a partnership with the Akwa Ibom State Primary Health Care Development Agency (AKSPHCDA) to conduct a joint baseline survey on the state of primary healthcare delivery in Akwa Ibom State.

The two organizations met earlier today with some Board members and key officials of the newly created AKSPHCDA, led by the latter’s Chairman, Dr. Martins Akpan.

In his remarks on behalf of the team, Tijah Bolton-Akpan, Executive Director of Policy Alert, noted that the proposed exercise seeks to provide baseline evidence to inform decision making by the new agency, thereby ensuring access to quality health care for the most vulnerable persons in the state.

He expressed the team’s delight on the takeoff of the agency and the provision of funding for it in the 2019 budget, noting that Policy Alert and its partners have consistently advocated for a stand-alone agency to coordinate the delivery of health care at the primary level in line with the national policy on primary health care under one Roof (PHCUOR). He called on the state government to provide the needed financial resources for the agency to run efficiently, adding that the organisation will track the agency’s operations to ensure that resources are accountably spent in the interest of our people.

Akaninyene Obot, Programme Manager, Ukana West II CBHI noted that the role of primary healthcare centres are critical in effective healthcare delivery as they are the first point of visit and the health facility closest to the rural people. He also informed that the assessment will involve actual field tracking of facilities as well as interviews and focus group discussions with health care professionals, facility staff, state and local government officials, community based organisations and clients of primary health centers across the state.

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Responding, Dr. Martin Akpan, Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Primary Health Care Development Agency expressed his Agency’s readiness to work with the two non-governmental organizations. He observed that for the agency to be truly responsive to the needs of the state’s citizens, baseline data is very important. He expressed the commitment of his team to the exercise and noted that the current administration is poised to revitalise the primary health care sector.

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