Innovation Hub for Inclusiveness, Empowerment and Social Development (SieDi-Hub), a women and youth-led non-profit organisation building a community of social policy advocates and dedicated to seeing communities with improved socio-economic and human capital status with equitable and inclusive global health standard, has called for urgent government intervention that would positively impact basic healthcare especially good drinking water in Nkporo, a rural community in Ohafia local council of Abia State.
It has, therefore, urged the Abia State Ministry of Health to work towards meeting the provisions of the National Health Policy as an indicator for Universal Health Coverage and with its collaborating agencies, strengthen the governance and accountability of the Ward Health System to improve the quality of care in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) within Nkporo by establishing a Community Governance Structure for Health.
“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 with the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency deploying trained community health workers, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to PHCs in rural communities, among others.”
SieDi-Hub made the call recently during a media briefing and policy dialogue it convened in Umuahia, the state capital, to mark its first year anniversary, which featured the release of its survey report on ‘Community Healthcare Delivery in Abia State using the Nkporo Community as a Case Study.’
In attendance were various stakeholders in the state healthcare delivery sector comprising top officials of the Ministry of Health led by the Permanent Secretary Deaconess Franca Ekwurube; the Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Chinagozi Adindu; officials of Nkporo Central, Agbaja and Etitiama Primary Health Centres and media practitioners.
The group disclosed that during its survey, it discovered Nkporo community lacked clean drinking water and that fishers used mosquito-treated nets and formalin in the stream that was their only source of water and by so doing polluted the water.
It also noted that with the intake of the contaminated water, the communities faced the risk of infection by microorganisms and harmful chemicals that cause water-borne diseases and infections such as diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery and cholera, and deterioration of the kidney and liver.
According to its Community Engagement Coordinator Mr. Jonathan Ajuma, the Nkporo Traditional Ruling Council was advised to enact regulations that would guide safe fishing activities in the community to preserve the health of members of the community.
SieDi-Hub was founded in 2022 by Chinasa U. Imo, a global health policy strategist working in the global health sector in the bid to empower next generations by bringing innovative and transformative approach to strengthening the healthcare delivery system and substantial changes that would improve the health of rural communities and marginalised groups.
The Ministry of Health, in a goodwill message delivered by the Permanent Secretary, commended the founder for the initiative.
“SieDi-Hub has gone ahead to implement programmes that have impacted the lives of people living in Abia State. We will continue to lend you supports as we watch you grow in the development space,” Ekwurube said.