A coalition of civil society organisations has criticised the lack of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Malaria testing kits in the majority of Gombe State’s Primary Healthcare Centres.
The organizations include the Nigerian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the Civil Society for Malaria Control, Immunization, and Nutrition, and the Civil Society for Tuberculosis Eradication in Nigeria.
Makka Dauda, State Programme Officer of NEPWHAN, said during a media round table with the Global Fund, National Agency for Control of AIDS, Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health, and the COVID-19 Response Mechanism Grant, that to end HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, both of which have become epidemics, the formal and community health systems needed to be strengthened.
He went on to say that Resilient System Strengthening for Health is a community intervention that promotes the creation and maintenance of informed, capable, coordinated, and long-term structures and processes.
The findings, according to Dauda, are based on interventions at 72 facilities across five local government districts.
Also speaking, NEPWHAN State Coordinator, Mohammed Sabo, urged the government to show more commitment to tackling the challenges highlighted. He also commended the collaborations existing between various organisations involved in the system strengthening for health in the state.
He said: “It comes at little or no cost from the government. When they are not available, clients are made to stay away from health facilities or pay from their pocket.”
He also noted that the Coalition has taken it upon itself to carry out advocacies across organisations and for public-spirited individuals to assist towards augmenting the shortfall in order to stem the tide of transmission.
On her part, ACOMIN State Coordinator, Hassana Maisanda, disclosed that in cases where the test kits are not too expensive, some community-based organisations have procured the kits.
What matters most, she continued, is that this project aims to encourage the communities in which we operate to work together with the facilities in order to assume ownership of the hospitals that the government has built. Governmental power does not end there. The government has at least made an effort to locate the facility in their area, it was added.