Some 200 key health care workers are going online to train in boosting primary health care preparedness and response to Covid-19 in efforts to ensure primary health delivery continues despite coronavirus fears.
The trainees, from across 36 states and the FCT, are only a first step in building primary health care response to Covid-19 and will be expected to train other health workers down the line.
The focus on training healthworkers in primary health centres comes amidst concern the country is experiencing community transmission.
Health minister Osagie Ehanire visited the emergency operations centre of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency on Wednesday to meet participants of the virtual training on a teleconference platform.
“As we migrate to community transmission phase, it has become imperative to, therefore, train and sensitize our primary healthcare workers, who are the first port of call and contact by clients in our communities,” he said.
“The primary health care workers manning the primary healthcare facilities are strategically positioned to contribute to the decisive actions required to curb this scourge.
“They can protect themselves, identify and reference suspected cases of COVID-19 at the facility and community levels, trace contacts of suspected cases and monitor the adherence to quarantine and self-isolation directives to contacts,” Ehanire said.
The minister noted that the capability of Primary Health Care workers to engage the grassroots had been essential to curbing polio, ebola and other diseases, and would be needed to support the next phase of COVID-19.
A total 200 healthworkers are currently in the rolling programme, according to NPHCDA executive director Faisal Shuaib.
And guidelines have been sent out to streamline Covid-19 efforts in states.
“The overall objective is to improve knowledge, build capacity and skills of Primary Health Care workers and relevant community resource groups to respond appropriately to COVID-19 suspected cases, while continuing to provide quality Primary Health Care services and addressing other safety concerns during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shuaib.
“The continuation of services, including antenatal care, is particularly important and strategic.”