Strengthening Community Accountability Mechanisms for Quality Primary Healthcare
Community accountability for quality healthcare refers to the continuous and meaningful engagement of communities, with public institutions to ensure accountability in delivering health services. Recognising the importance of community accountability, Nigeria Health Watch, in collaboration with the Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency (now known as the Ministry of Primary Health) on the 14th of August 2023, organised a Primary Health Care (PHC) policy dialogue themed “Strengthening Community Accountability Mechanisms for Quality Primary Healthcare- A Spotlight on Niger State”. The aim was to improve the delivery of primary healthcare services in Niger State by providing a platform to listen to the voices of community members, healthcare providers and stakeholders as they share their experience when accessing or providing care.
During the first panel discussion, participants deliberated on the policies and programmes designed to strengthen PHC services and fulfil the health needs of rural communities. The discussion primarily centered around recognising gaps in these programmes and putting forth suggestions for improvement. The panel 2 discussed discussed the state of maternal healthcare accountability mechanisms in the community and focused on on the benefits of setting up and maintaining functional community maternal, perinatal and child death surveillance response (MPCDSR) committees.
A communique summarising all the actionable recommendations from the panel sessions was presented following the conclusion of the discussion: Adequate community engagement. Adequate inclusion of women groups in the community MPCDSR committees. Sustainable financing for community MPCDSR. Set up community MPCDSR committees with political leadership. Timely remuneration for CHIPS agents.