As part of measures of improving immunization outputs and strengthening Primary Health Care System in the country, the Federal Government in conjunction with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency has launched the Integrated Medical Outreach Program.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, the Vice president of Nigeria, Prof, Yemi Osinbanjo said that the health workers will target to reach over 20 million people with free basic healthcare services
According to him, the Integrated Medical Outreach Program is an attempt to take basic healthcare services, such as health education, basic surgeries and screening for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, tuberculosis, HIV aids and cancer to undeserved areas.
Osinbajo explained that the I-MOP intervention was aimed at strengthening and scaling up access to routine Immunization and other primary healthcare (PHC) services in the selected low performing 409 councils in the country.
“We are pleading with Nigerians and all other nationals residing within the country to take their children under two years to the nearest health facilities for screening and administration of all due antigens”.
The Vice President further urged all Nigerians to continue to observe the hygiene advisories including frequent handwashing, and social distancing as much as possible, also good hygiene practice during medical and surgical consultations, in order to curtail the spread of the Corona Virus.
The Executive Secretary of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, noted that after many Decades of inadequate investments in Primary Health Care system, the current Administration of President Muhammadu Bihari has made strengthening Primary Health Care System, the centre of its health sector reforms.
“As a result of this focus, the NPHCDA and development partners have also shifted the paradigm shift through strategic interventions that have led to improvements in routine immunization, and revitalization of almost 4000 primary healthcare centres.”
“While we have made gains in closing the obvious gaps in immunization and primary health care delivery, we still have a long way to go, if we are to achieve our vision and aspirations for a country where basic but quality health services would be accessible and affordable, where people live and work.”
He added that adequate strengthening of the health system will ensure that no one is left behind in the journey towards Universal Health Coverage.
“The IMOP is an opportunity for government to fulfil its promise of delivering the dividends of democracy, justice and equity to all Nigerians.
From Monday next week, when the first round of the programme will commence, health workers will offer services in primary healthcare centres and move from settlement to settlement, searching for unreached communities targeting over 20milliom people with free basic healthcare services.”
Shuaibu explained that the first round of the IMOP implementation was planned for 23rd to 27th March in the selected 409 LGAs in the 36 states and FCT, while the second round is planned for 20th – 24th April 2020. The third round will take place from 1st – 5th. June 2020.
.“Not only does it provide free health services to communities that had never in the past enjoyed those services, but it also provides our public health institutions with invaluable disease identification opportunities and outreach lessons.”.
He said the Federal Government of Nigeria maintains a policy to provide immunization services free to all against all vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). A
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the flag-off of the I-MOP is an important development. Because it does not just take care of Primary Healthcare (PHC) but tends to be specific
. The Senate President who was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, Chukwuka Utazi, said, I-MOP focuses on immunization, treatment of minor ailments, counselling services, health talks on non-communicable diseases, like hypertension, cancer chronic kidney diseases, stroke and diabetes, among others.
I-MOP which is a programme of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, is aimed at targeting the unreached, underserved and vulnerable communities in 409 Councils in 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory.