In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) built the Autan Barden Primary Health Care Centre (PHC) in Abayi, Nasarawa “B” Ward. It was handed over to the Chanchaga Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State and started operations in 2016.
Aishatu M. Tukur, the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the PHC facility, said that when she was appointed as the OIC, in addition to lacking water and electricity, she saw that the facility lacked a laboratory and an injection room. “We had to use my office as a lab and injection room because the patients needed privacy,” she said, adding that when there was a large turnout of patients, they had to convert the toilet into a makeshift injection room.
However, service delivery at the facility has gotten a lot better since the facility started receiving funds from the federal government’s Basic Health Care Provision Funds (BHCPF) in 2021. According to the OIC, the BHCPF has enabled them to establish a laboratory and injection room, and has provided essential amenities such as electricity, water, cold chain equipment, and a drug shelf at the dispensary. They have also fixed some windows and put up two signboards to let the community know about the PHC. “We now have more turnout than before because women feel more confident about our facility and the services we render,” the OIC added.
The facility offers antenatal care (ANC), immunisation, family planning, accidents and emergencies, health education, community mobilisation, and HIV/AIDS services.
The secretary of the Ward Health Development Committee (WHDC) in the PHC, Yahaya Aliyu, said they visit and sensitise communities on the benefits of the BHCPF. He added that the awareness campaigns have improved attendance at the facility because of the subsidised price of drugs.
Corroborating the OIC, Aliyu said that there has been an improvement in service delivery. In appreciation of the BHCPF, he encouraged the people of the ward to continue to visit the PHC for medical care.
There is no doubt that if PHCs continue to have access to and properly utilise the BHCPF, like Autan Barde PHC, it will accelerate Nigeria’s progress towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC)