Professor Isaac Adewole

The Association of Nigerian Physicians in America (ANPA) has started a free medical and surgical services in AMAC and Bwari area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole inaugurated the free medical programme on Friday in Abuja.

Dr Charmaine Emelife, President ANPA, said the association had mobilised over 70 providers from the United States for the outreach programme in the FCT.

She added that besides doctors, the team comprised of Nurses, Pharmacists, Laboratory Scientists, stressing that the team was in FCT to collectively provide world-class health care services.

According to her, the services will be provided at Tungan Gwazo and Jiwa communities in Abuja Municipal Area Council while the surgical services will be provided at the General Hospital Kubwa in Bwari Area Council.

She added that the goal of the programme was to ensure that a minimum of 300 cases was treated from the three centres every day including a minimum of 20 surgical cases.

She said that in 2018, the association was able to do 120 surgical cases in five days; this year, the association intended to treat 120 to 150 cases in five to six days.

Emelife said the association was made up of medical professionals from Nigeria and other medical experts who were married to Nigerians.

“All of us always worry about the health care in this country, every year we come as ANPA’s sponsored mission to provide year-round care in Nigeria,’’ she said.

Responding, Adewole said: “We do not believe or see you going abroad as essentially a brain loss but we see it as brain gain which some people call`brain circulation’.

The minister was happy with the turnout of people for the medical outreach programme at Jiwa, stressing that the experts would offer free medical services.

He admonished the FCT residents to avail themselves for the programme.

The minister maintained that the idea of the present administration was to strategically re-orient and reposition the healthcare system.

He said that over the years, the primary health care system had collapsed in the country, stressing that what the government did over the last four years was to refocus on primary health care.

“We want to rebuild the PHC system, we are committed to revitalising 10,000 PHCs, we have done over 4,000 and we are still counting.

“What we are also doing is to fund the PHCs through a unique approach; we have a funding mechanism called the Basic Health Care Provision Fund supported by World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the DFID.

The minister said the fund sends money straight from the Federal Government to the PHC, adding that there was be no signatory at the commercial bank.

He added that the two signatories for the PHCs were the Head of the PHC and community leader and the PHCs would get money quarterly for the purchase of commodities.

He said it was a new beginning for the PHC system in Nigeria, stressing that the federal government would focus on tertiary health facilities and collaboration with state governments to also strengthen the secondary health facilities.

He said: “We are hoping that in the next few years the health system in Nigeria will be back to shape.

“Working with you (ANPA), we can build the human resources needed to make it more functional; we will need you not only to make this outreach but also to key into the tertiary health institution.

“Exchange ideas with our fellows there, build capacity, supply new issues and ideas so that we become up-to-date; we are ready to do our beat in order to make it happen,’’ the minister said.

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