Welcome to the Department of Community Health Services, one of the six departments of NPHCDA.
The Department’s establishment stems from the global recognition that many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will only be achievable through community health care services close to homes and communities where people live while employing community based interventions. The Department therefore has the mandate to create community demand for, and ensure that a complete package of care, based on the Ward Minimum Health Care Package (WMHCP) is available at community levels across the country. The package includes health promotion and community mobilization; maternal, newborn and child health care services; nutrition; control of communicable and non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health services, in order to address the major causes of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, thereby contribute to the attainment of the MDGs.
To effectively carry out its remit, the Department is made up of three Divisions:
• PHC advocacy and community mobilization division which develops and coordinates advocacy, social mobilization and community engagement strategies for the PHC agenda
• Community health division which develops and coordinates strategies for ensuring maternal, newborn and child survival, adequate nutrition, control of communicable diseases (particularly AIDS, TB and malaria), control of non-communicable diseases, and sexual and reproductive health
• Health promotion division which develops and coordinates strategies for ensuring health promotion activities including environmental sanitation and water quality improvement, inter-sectoral collaboration for PHC and manages the Agency’s Resource Centre
The Department champions two of the Agency’s goals. To improve quality of care, the Department has successfully reviewed and launched the Standards of Practice for Community Health Workers and training in its use has commenced. And to address managerial skills gaps, in addition to training Community Health Workers – the frontline health workforce – the Department has concluded a Mid-level Management Training (MLMT) for the first cohort of 111 mid-level managers from the 36 States of the Federation. The second cohort will commence in the first quarter of 2011. Also the Department leads the planning and implementation of the annual Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW), a strategy endorsed by the National Council on Health to improve coverage of key interventions targeted at reducing maternal, newborn and child morbidity and mortality in a continuum of care approach.
To successfully engage communities, the Department works through key audiences to ensure community mobilization and buy-in for all PHC issues. This has resulted in the successful partnerships with the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on PHC Development, Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON). Equally Ward Development Committees have been established and activated through several health system strengthening grants. The department also implements the Global Fund Health System Strengthening grant and through this has supported the refurbishing of PHC health facilities and champions capacity building for State, Local Government and health facility staff for the integration of AIDS, TB, and Malaria (ATM) issues. Furthermore, The Community Health Services Department implements the program of Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) and Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS). This project leads to the development of the Integrated Training Curriculum for PHC health workers, PPM manual for Primary Health Care and the Operational Guidelines for Integration of ATM with maternal, newborn and child health and reproductive health at community level.
In collaboration with IHVN and Solina Health, the Department has obtained a five year grant for community-based PMTCT which in its first phase will be piloted in two States of the country.