Country Coordinator of Practical Approach to Care Kit in Nigeria, Prof. Joseph Ana, has said that budgetary allocations to the health sector in most countries are never enough, but the ability to
properly utilise the meagre allocation in the right direction is what matters. Ana, who spoke in Calabar, Cross River State, on Tuesday during the unveilling of the 2017 PACK guideline for use in health institutions all over the country, said with proper channelling, allocations to the sector could create the desired impact.
PACK is a health system strategy comprising four pillars that support the delivery of primary health care. It includes a guide, training strategy, health systems strengthening intervention and monitoring and evaluation components. According to Ana, who is Lead Consultant at The Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety, what matters in allocation of funds is the impact it creates in areas it is directed towards.
Citing the United States as an example, Ana said the budgetary allocations to health sector in most developed nations were never enough, but that the monies were always channelled to areas that would create the desired impact on the citizenries. He said, “There is no country on earth that allocates enough money to the health sector. In terms of Gross Domestic Product, that of the US is high but there is hardly enough for the health sector. There are never enough funds, but what is important is how you direct the little you have to the areas that will create maximum impact.”
Speaking on the use of the 2017 PACK guideline by clinical health workers, Ana said Primary Healthcare Centres should be able to diagnose and treat cases of malaria at first instances. He said that in this period of economic recession, proper use of the PACK guideline by medical practitioners in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions would ensure effective service delivery in the health sector. Ana said that PACK Nigeria had about 2500 recommendations with all fully backed by current evidence.
He also pointed out that as with most other African countries where the use of PACK had been fully embraced, clinical health workers would constantly require training and retraining to be abreast with its usage. He urged PHCs especially to secure and make use of the guidelines in order to reduce the burden of the secondary and tertiary health institutions.