Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have commenced moves to strengthen the capacity of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to effectively respond to health emergencies.
The acting secretary of Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) in FCTA, Mr Malan Haruna, made this known during a meeting organised by the secretariat in collaboration with the WHO yesterday in Abuja.
The meeting was tagged; Scooping Mission on Strengthening and Utilising Response Groups for Emergencies (SURGE) in the Federal Capital Territory.
The acting secretary said that the goal of the scooping mission was to strengthen the ability of the FCTA to respond effectively to public health emergencies.
“We have seen our inadequacies over the years, especially during the recent COVID-19 pandemic in terms of our ability to respond to the pandemic.
“We have learned from that experience, and we are trying to build from it so that we will be able to respond to health emergencies in a more coordinated manner.
“The essence of the scoping mission is to look at where we have failed so we can identify the challenges and find ways to address them for a better response in the future,” he said.
Haruna disclosed that there were 1,249 accredited health facilities made up of 814 primary health facilities and 432 secondary health facilities and three tertiary health facilities in the FCT.
He added that of the 814 primary health facilities, 580 were private facilities, while 234 were public, adding that of the 432 secondary health facilities, 409 were private while 23 were public facilities.
Haruna said that quality and quantity of healthcare workers were still inadequate with skewed distribution towards health facilities in urban areas as against facilities in peripheral areas.
“The FCTA is making efforts to bridge the gap in human resource for health through the recruitment of medical officers, but the number remains inadequate.
“The HHSS is also collaborating with Health Workforce Management to strengthen the capacity of health workers for better service delivery in the FCT.
“Also, there is a system for containment of public health emergencies including the availability of a policy and plan on disease outbreak response.However, there is no functional infectious diseases hospital in the FCT,” he said.
The Director Public Health, HHSS, Dr Abdulrahman Sadiq, said that the world was faced with the outbreak of diseases that became pandemics or epidemics periodically, that this is why they must always be prepared to respond to public health emergencies.
Earlier, the coordinator of African Volunteer Corps for SURGE in Nigeria, WHO Country Office, Dr Kumshida Balami, said that the scoping mission was designed to assess the status of FCT’s capacity in response to health emergencies.
Balami said that the activity, which would last up to July 22, would engage stakeholders in the health sector and assess their capacity to respond to emergencies.