Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) organized a stakeholders’ meeting on 15th April, 2016 in Abuja, to build consensus for the rapid assessment of community-facility health referral systems in Nigeria.
At the meeting, which held at Ayalla Hotels, the Monitoring and Evaluation coordinator, ARFH, Dr Abiodun Hassan presented an overview of the concept paper for the study which is being done to define existing referral system in community health facilities, or how members of Nigeria communities are referred to health facilities for treatment. According to the overview, the study is also being done to determine the barriers and enablers for the referral system, assess the capacity of the referral system and process in relation to human resource, availability of health products and drugs and how laboratories function.
The overview presented also showed that the study will also determine cost effective solutions to be used in improving how individuals in communities are referred to health facilities and the outcomes of the interventions.
The stakeholders that participated were from organisations such as World Health Organisation (WHO), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDCA), Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Department of Planning, Research & Statistics (DPRS) of the FMoH, Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for the Global Fund, Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN), and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
The stakeholders who commented, requested that the current situation of health facility linkages and referral systems should be described, that there should be a definition of operating terms in line with existing national standards, and that a more effective model for referral should be developed at the end of the study.
The study methodology to be used for the survey in Nigeria was agreed upon and a steering committee for the survey was inaugurated by the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager of ARFH, Mrs Bukola Ehimatie, on behalf of Dr Rex Mpajanze, HIV Advisor of WHO, who was also present.
Dr. Rex Mpajanze of WHO, emphasised the relevance and importance of this meeting to strengthening the country’s uptake of health services.
Dr Maryam Al-Mansur (DPRS) and Dr Rex Mpajanze (WHO)