Gov. Ayade Fix Ito Odukpani PHC: It’s possible to achieve universal health coverage in Nigeria if we fix one PHC every 72hrs – Dr. Betta Edu


The roof was falling off the Ito health Centre in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State both inside and out. The counseling room where women came to discuss family planning, with its mismatched furniture, lacked privacy. Everything was wrong about the facility.

Ito is a large community surrounded by Atan Onoyom village of Eniong Abatim and shares common boundary with Arochukwu village in Abia State.

The only health facility serving over 10,000 people including Arochukwu residents is the delipadated Health Centre at Ito Clan with old fallen roof,  no windows and doors. It was so bad that the community lost confidence and usage by the community was almost zero.

But months after the launch of a a 72-hour PHC makeover challenge led by the Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare  Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu, the facility was picked from many entry as the worse in Odukpani.

the facility is now wearing a new look and people can access healthcare services. Since the challenge is mainly done by community volunteers, more than 40 youths volunteers were engaged to help revamp the facility.

“The transformation has been incredible,” says Clan Head of Ito, His Royal Highness Edet O.  Ebita during the courtesy call by the DG, Dr Betta Edu to inform him of the extent of job done so far in the facility.

According  to him, the environment now is more appealing with some equipment and new staff posted. I am joyous that women, children and everyone in the community will now get the proper health care they need, words are not enough to thank Ayade… we will support him all the way.

Speaking, DG CRSPHCDA,  Dr Betta Edu said 72-hour PHC makeover challenge was designed to repair that trust and help communities access health care. We mobilized communities and providers to work together to fix what’s wrong. The makeover itself may be quick, but months of planning and preparation goes into determining what needs fixing and how it will be accomplished. Together, we determine what the clinic needs and developed a plan to make the changes. We did it in 72hrs!!!!!!!

The makeover itself began on Friday morning and will end on Monday. Workers on ground were seen painting and tiling while some were putting final touches to the roof and other physical improvements.

Even the DG, Dr Betta Edu and some media personnels who were on ground joined the community volunteers to put final touches to the building. Some painted, some help in tiling while some were fixing the nets in the windows.

The Community women cooked food for the workers or scrub the windows or whatever else is needed as their contribution.

On Monday, the facility reopens with a celebration and a whole new look and feel. And everyone from the service providers to the community members, to the patients feel a sense of pride and ownership in the finished product.

“The 72-hour PHC makeover improves the working conditions of the service provider while also improving the experience of clients that visit the facility.

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