The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENPHCDA), said that every year, 33,000 women die from preventable causes as a result of pregnancy and that 940,000 children under age five die every year. The Community Health Influencers and Promoters Service (CHIPS), is an initiative brought about by the federal government to tackle the alarming rate of infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria. Below are five facts you should know about CHIPS
1. Requirement to join CHIP The minimum requirement is elementary education, followed by up to three months training upon selection but aspiring CHIPS agent will undergo the same programme from Issele-Uku, Delta to Potiskum, Yobe.
2. CHIPS major objectives CHIPS agents are the embodiment of the “where there is no doctor” eventuality. They are responsible for basic interventions in the community. CHIPS work out of an assigned kit, containing anything from supplies to treat injuries and rapid diagnosis kits to test for malaria, to over-the-counter medicines, to treat common ailments. All of these are free but CHIPS have a responsibility to send their “patients” to the nearest health facility, never to usurp the role of a health facility official. READ ALSO: Lagos lawmaker reveals why good governance should impact people’s lives
3. Zero tolerance for mediocrity Most of the roles of agents will be to influence decision making processes. When a person is sick, instead of waiting till complications arise, they would quickly take the decision to go to the health facility. Community health extension workers (CHEWs) and Junior CHEWs have extension tacked onto their role for a reason. Their job involves extension, reaching communities with vital health information and education. Due to the scarcity of human resource to work in the facilities, some CHEWs and JCHEWs spend most of their time in the health facility.
4. Incentives for agents The federal government takes care of agents’ training and policy direction. While the states handle stipend, which could be anything from raw cash to the recognition that it is an achievement to be selected as an agent. And local governments supervise CHIPS in different ways in their wards. PAY ATTENTION: Get the Latest Nigerian News Anywhere 24/7. Spend less on the Internet! The federal government recently appropriated about N1.4 billion in 2018 budget, and proponents of the intervention are optimistic lawmakers have been so amazed by CHIPS so that allocation for the agency in 2019 budget will hopefully increase or at least remain steady.
5. The future of the agency Faisal Shuaib, the executive director of NPHCDA is optimistic that the agency has a promising and robust future. Shuaib remarked: “This is another bold step the federal government is taking toward providing equitable primary health care to our communities. Years down the line, we are going to look back and say we did the right thing when it came to keeping our promise to provide primary health care to each and every Nigerian.” Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that a recent report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), said that Nigeria had one of the highest newborn deaths in the world. Going by the newborn mortality rate of 29 deaths per 1,000 births, the global estimates ranked Nigeria as the 11th highest on newborn deaths. In the new Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), conducted by the federal government between 2016 and 2017, the rate of newborn deaths per 1000 births was 37.
Source: Nigeria Health Care News