By Ruth Oketunde
An NGO, Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls (AEIG), has advocated improved access to quality healthcare services at the grassroots in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Executive Director of the organisation, Mrs Abiodun Essiet, gave the call while briefing newsmen on the activities of the organisation on Thursday in Abuja.
She said that it was important to recognise and give priority to primary healthcare services, as it would better the lives of women, children and persons living with disabilities.
She said that improved access to these facilities would reduce morbidity and mortality rates among the vulnerable groups.
Abiodun called on the FCT and Area Council administrations to intervene in the ongoing industrial action by the Nigerian Union of Local Government Administration Employees (NULGE).
She said that the strike had affected access to healthcare services.
“The strike that has been on for almost a week has in no small way impacted negatively on residents of the FCT, especially the original inhabitants.
“They are being denied access to basic services like healthcare at the Primary Healthcare Centres.
“The FCT Administration should increase budgetary allocation to the health sector; especially the Primary Healthcare Centres which cater for the health needs of vast majority of the original inhabitants,” she said.
On the issue of sexual and gender-based violence, she said that the organisation had mapped out community schools across the six area councils to create awareness, how to prevent and manage such cases.
According to her, the organisation will continue to make concerted efforts to discourage the culture of silence among victims.
On his part, Mr Abdullahi Candido, the Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) appreciated the NGOs for raising awareness about the plights of the original inhabitants of the FCT.
He called on other well-meaning Nigerians to assist them to have access to health, education, agriculture and other basic amenities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the event is “Improving Access to Healthcare Services and Status of Sexual and Gender Based Violence Amongst Original Inhabitants in FCT’’ (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
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By Ruth Oketunde