AN ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY OF CHILD HEALTH SERVICES IN THE PUBLIC PRIMARY HEALTH CARE FACILITIES IN NNEWI NORTH LGA OF ANAMBRA STATE.
Children as a vulnerable group bear an undue share of the global burden of disease. Attention to the provision of quality child health services can prevent many diseases that cause severe illness and death in children in developing
countries. Child health services form part of the maternal and child health services, one of the components of primary health care. Quality child health services if made available at the primary health care level will produce an effective and efficient outcome; reduce child morbidity and mortality and ultimately the attainment of the MDG – 4. The study was conducted from 15th September to 30th November, 2009 to assess the quality of child health services in the Public PHC facilities in Nnewi North LGA of Anambra state.
The study was a cross – sectional descriptive study that assessed the quality of child health services and its determinants in the LGA using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Focus group discussion of caregivers and providers of child health services as well as key informant interviews of the facility heads and the LG PHC coordinators were conducted. A checklist adapted from the minimum requirements for a primary health centre developed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency was used in assessing the health resources
available for child health services in NNLG. A total of 305 caregivers utilizing child services in the public PHC facilities in NNLG selected by stratified sampling with proportionate allocation were interviewed. In addition, some selected health care workers, facility heads and the health facilities providing child health services were included in the study.
The result from the study showed the quality of child health services as poor. This is as evidenced by inadequacy of basic amenities, inadequate staff distribution. The providers were not motivated due to delayed promotion, insufficient training opportunities. The caregivers corroborated the managers’ views that equipments were sufficient, were not shared by the caregivers and providers of child health services.
It was concluded that the quality of child health services in NNLG was poor. There is a need for the LGA authorities to provide minimum equipment package, drugs and supplies as well as make funds available for the delivery of quality child health services. There is also a need for the adoption of quality of care action plan at the LGA to improve the quality of child health service delivery which is a step towards the attainment of the MDG4.