The Federal Government has completed plans to engage 100,000 agents under the Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) Programme, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib disclosed.
This was in order to reduce high rate of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria. CHIPS, a community-based programme was designed to allow traditional institution to select individuals who will administer basic medical needs ,such as diagnosing and referring of people in their communities to required medical facilities when necessary.
The medical expert, who spoke to journalists shortly after the first meeting with Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care Delivery in Kaduna on Monday said, the development became necessary as Nigeria is losing about one million women and children to preventable medical conditions.
According to him, “the gathering of the northern traditional committee on PHC here today is to review what we were able to achieve in 2017 and strategising for high priority intervention in our communities this year.
This means going back to the basis, the community to engage the traditional institution knowing full well that we cannot have meaningful progress as regard to provision of healthcare services to our people without listening to them.
“This is in furtherance of CHIPS programme that was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari two weeks ago in Nasarawa state where he asked us to roll it to every state through the traditional institution as closest to the people at grassroots.
“This became necessary because Nigeria is losing about one million women and under 5 children to totally preventable causes on yearly basis. Women are dying from bleeding before getting to facilities while children are also dying from malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.
“So to reduce these deaths, these CHIPS agents will be living and working in their communities. For example, if there is complication around pregnancy, these CHIPS agents can raise alarm. It is all about reducing maternal and child deaths in the communities”.
He said further that, the success of the initiative is on the traditional rulers, “ they are expected to engage with their state government and other opinion leaders.
“We have packaged what the people are saying. It is now left to the traditional leaders to sustain it. This is because governors will not be there for long but they will be there.
Source; Medical News Today