The Nigerian federal government and the government of Anambra State have called upon traditional leaders in the South East region to actively support and promote primary healthcare services within their respective domains.
During the inaugural Quarterly Review Meeting of the South East Traditional Rulers’ Committee (SETRC) on Primary Healthcare Delivery, held in Awka, the federal government, represented by Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director and CEO of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), and Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, reiterated the importance of prioritizing the advancement of healthcare services.
Shuaib, represented by Bassey Okposen, the Director of Disease Control and Immunization (DCI), urged traditional rulers to ensure efficient local healthcare services.
He stated, “As custodians of cultural heritage, the traditional rulers possess the authority to mobilize and unite communities and shape the healthcare landscape in the region. By endorsing primary healthcare initiatives, they have the potential to influence public perception and behavior significantly.”
Shuaib further emphasized the significance of collaboration between monarchs and healthcare professionals to disseminate accurate information on vital aspects of primary healthcare, such as immunization, nutrition, and family planning. He highlighted the role of traditional rulers in dispelling doubts and promoting evidence-based practices, thereby empowering communities to make informed health decisions.
In his opening address, Governor Chukwuma Soludo, represented by Deputy Governor Onyeka Ibezim, underscored the pivotal role of traditional rulers in driving healthcare delivery within their communities. He reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to fostering a functional healthcare system in the state through a grassroots approach.
Lawrence Agubuzu, the Chairman of the Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers, expressed the monarchs’ dedication to promoting primary healthcare delivery in the region. He noted that the meeting had been postponed due to the previous quarter’s general election. He emphasized that the traditional rulers would work collectively to ensure their healthcare decisions reached every corner of the South East.
The call from the federal and state governments, alongside the commitment of the South East monarchs, highlights the imperative of bolstering primary healthcare services and fostering a well-informed society capable of making sound health choices.