On March 31, 2023, the Innovation Hub for Inclusiveness, Empowerment and Social Development (SieDi-Hub) convened a media briefing and policy dialogue to disseminate the findings of their assessment on Community Healthcare Delivery in Abia State using Nkporo Community in Ohafia Local Government Areas as a case study as well as mark her first-year anniversary.

The policy dialogue was attended by stakeholders such as the Permanent Secretary, Abia State Ministry of Health who represented the Honourable Commissioner of Health and top officers of the Ministry of Health (Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Director of Information, Director of Public Health, Planning Officers, Public Relations Officer). Other attendees include the Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Officers-in-Charge of Nkporo Central, Agbaja and Etitiama Primary Health Centres,; top officers of Abia State primary Health Care Development Agency, and Local and National Media Agencies.

Top problems identified by the assessment include:
  1. Access to Clean Drinking Water

The assessment survey presented the lack of clean drinking water in Nkporo Community, where a stream is the only water source. Respondents lamented about fishermen’s economic activities using mosquito-treated nets and formalin for harvesting fishes which in turn pollute the only water source.  Intake of contaminated water introduces microorganisms, bacteria, and harmful chemicals into the body, which cause water-borne diseases and infections such as diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery, and cholera, and deterioration of the kidney and liver.

  1. Access to Basic Health Care Services

The assessment survey presented the need for more supply of basic essential drugs, vaccines, consumables, injectables, and equipment at the three Primary Health Centres in the community. Respondents also informed SieDi-Hub that the facilities have a poor distribution of health workers as most facilities only have auxiliary staff while also complaining of the poor maintenance of the facilities and equipment as most of the buildings are in dilapidated states. This situation stalls the delivery of inclusive and responsive health care for the community members as they rely heavily on private hospitals, patent drug dealers, and traditional medicine.

  1. Fake News and Disinformation

The survey identified prevailing gaps in the health information system of the community. The erroneous interpretation of health information, opinion polarization and illiteracy contribute to vaccine hesitancy, poor health practices and decreased access to healthcare services in the community.

Advocacy Asks
  1. Abia State Ministry of Health should work towards meeting the provisions of the National Health Policy as an indicator for Universal Health Coverage.
  2. Abia State Ministry of Health, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and collaborating agencies should strengthen the governance and accountability of the Ward Health System to improve the quality of care in PHCs within Nkporo by establishing Community Governance Structure for Health.
  3. There should be a clear system to facilitate access to drugs and other health commodities needed to provide essential community health services in Nkporo Community.
  4. Abia State Ministry of Health and Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency should deploy trained community health workers, doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals to PHCs in rural communities.
  5. Abia State Ministry of Health, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and collaborating agencies should improve funding for primary health centres across rural communities in the state.
  6. Abia State Ministry of Health should develop an enhanced, coordinated, standardized monitoring and evaluation framework for the state.
  7. Abia State Ministry of Health, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and collaborating agencies should put in place effective and efficient information systems at the rural communities.
Outcomes of the Policy Dialogue
  1. A call on the Traditional Ruling Council of Nkporo Ancient Kingdom to produce regulations guiding fishing activities in the community to ensure sustainable living for all members of the community
  2. Strengthened partnership and collaboration between Abia State Ministry of Health, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Ohafia Local Government Health Authority, and SieDi-Hub for the Community Health Youth Champions Program – a Community Health Intervention and Support Program designed by SieDi-Hub and Empower Next Generations (ENG) to bring innovative and transformative collaborative community health response system for the people and by the people of Nkporo community
  3. The recognition of Media as central actors in disseminating health information, and shaping public discourse and policy actions for healthcare systems strengthening in Abia State
  4. Commitment of Abia State Ministry of Health and Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to arobust primary healthcare delivery system by tackling the challenges identified by SieDi-Hub
  5. A call on agencies, organizations, philanthropists and citizens of Abia State to aid in sinking water boreholes in Nkporo Community
  6. A call from Abia State Ministry of Health on SieDi-Hub to expand such community health assessment across communities in the state to support the ministry of health with evidence for appropriate planning.


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