As part of efforts to kick-start the proposed National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS), stakeholders in the health sector converged in Kano recently to discuss the operationalization of NEMSAS with a view to fashion a well-coordinated, effective and efficient Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System for Nigerians.
Deputy Director Media & Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, Ahmadu Chindaya disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
According to Chindaya, The stakeholders meeting was part of the collective efforts put in place by the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure the smooth take-off of NEMSAS and the proposed National Launch/Roll out of the programme by President Muhammadu Buhari at a later date.
He further disclosed that, so far, only six States have shown their readiness and interest to kick-start the programme in their respective States, namely, Yobe, Kano, Rivers, Sokoto, Ekiti and Anambra States.
He also noted that the National Programme Manager, NEMSAS, Dr. Saidu Ahmed Dambulwa, presented the LEAD paper during the meeting.
Dambulwa stated that missing links exist at all levels of Tertiary, Secondary and Primary levels of the Nigerian Health Sector under the Emergency Health Cases.
He explained that when emergency occurs, transporting the victim to the nearby health facility as well as who pays the medical bill always constitute the missing links.
Consequently, he said that when NEMTC and NEMSAS are fully operationalized, not only would the missing link be taken care of, but Health Care delivery in Nigeria will become more affordable.
To this end, various suggestions were proffered:
The need to fully operationalize NEMSA so that Nigerians could benefit;
Train the trainers programme to be introduced in order to build capacity both at the State and national levels to include the 774 Local Government Councils in Nigeria.
Close monitoring trend should be instituted especially at the Primary Health Care level. Periodic auditing of the whole exercise/NEMSA program to encourage efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the programme.
Media personnel should also be given the requisite training on how to also handle health related emergencies. Health related bills and tariffs at all levels should be reviewed to accommodate current realities on ground, among others.
NEMSAS, SEMSAS and private medical health providers were optimistic that when this program is fully operationalized, health care delivery in Nigeria will be greatly enhanced.
It could be recalled that on 14 February, 2022 NEMSAS hosted an “MoU” Signing ceremony in Abuja with its various stakeholders.