By Kemi Olatunde
The Chairman, Ondo State House Assembly Committee on Health, Dr Chris Ogunlana, has described the Primary Health Care (PHC) system as the gate way to achieving universal health coverage in the country.
He spoke while leading other members of the committee on familiarisation visit to Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA) in Akure.
He noted that the PHC as a result of its proximity to the people is the first point of call in case of any health challenge.
He thanked the Permanent Secretary and the management team of the Agency for doing the state proud among the comity of states in the Country.
Ogunlana, however, called for more attention to the sector to make the system more effective and functional.
Also speaking, two members of the committee, Ololade Gbegudu and Ogunwumiju Moyinoluwa commended the Agency for the giant strides in the primary sector.
The duo pledged the support of the state House of Assembly at protecting the law that established the Agency few years back, noting that the current legislative house was well informed and will do everything possible to ensure that the leading position of the Agency in the country is sustained.
Welcoming the Committee members to the Agency, the Permanent Secretary Dr. Francis Akanbiemu, appreciated the roles played by the former members of the state House of Assembly to ensure that the Agency law was passed and that Ondo State was one of the very few that have the status of Agency in charge of PHC in the Country.
Akanbiemu highlighted some achievements of the Agency in recent years to include: attainment of 90% immunization coverage, best PHC in leadership challenge award in South West, best State in Cold Chain management in the country, best in Outbreak response and best in Measles Campaign performance.
Other outstanding achievements according to Dr. Akanbiemu, were Ondo State PHC system is the first all over the country to have standard Medical Laboratories as well as high tech ultrasound machines in all the local governments of the state
He noted that Ondo State is one of the first states to key in to the Federal government policy of Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) and as at present it has moved from 66% in 2015 to 96% in the National PHUOR Performance Scorecard done in 2022 ranking 2nd in the whole 17 Southern States of Nigeria and first in the Southwest.
While saying all the successes recorded were as a results of supports received from the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON, Akanbiemu called for full implementation of the 2019 law which allows the Agency to have a governing Board.