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Appraisal of primary health care services in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria: how committed are the health workers?


The primary health care model was declared as the appropriate strategy for ensuring health-for-all. However up till date, very few studies have assessed the services provided by primary health centres in terms of its basic components. This study aimed to appraise health services provided and to estimate the commitment of the health workers in selected primary health care centres within Abuja Nigeria. A cross sectional study was utilized to obtain information from 642 health workers across 6 area councils of the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria. Data collection was performed using pre-tested, structured, interviewer-administered questionnaires and data were analyzed at 95% level of significance using SPSS version 17.0. Our study participants were largely females (58.6%), Christians (63.2%) and aged 30-39 years (40.0%). Health services offered in centres were adequate in all components of PHC except for mental health (23.7%) and care of the elderly (43.0%). Conduct of home visits was least practiced by health workers (83.8%) compared to the use of patient appointments (96.4%) and conducting staff outreach activities (94.9%). Commitment was three times more likely when service was related to health promotion and education (OR = 2.52; CI = 1.23-5.18); nutrition education (OR = 3.13; CI = 1.13-8.68). Health workers in primary health centres of the federal capital territory still provide sub-optimal services with respect to mental health and care of elderly. Concerted efforts and unrelenting political will to strengthen mental and geriatric health components are recommended.