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Bayelsa to prioritise health sector investments as Diri unveils new policies

By Edu Abade
20 April 2021   |   4:11 am
The Bayelsa State Government, yesterday, declared that it would prioritise investments in the health sector to improve the well-being of the people.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire (left), former President Goodluck Jonathan and Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, at the opening ceremony of the Bayelsa Health Summit in Yenagoa…yesterday

The Bayelsa State Government, yesterday, declared that it would prioritise investments in the health sector to improve the well-being of the people.

Governor Douye Diri stated this in Yenagoa at the opening of a three-day maiden Bayelsa Health Summit with the theme: Achieving Improved Health System Performance Through Strategic Planning and Stakeholder Engagement.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, President and Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, among other stakeholders, attended the event.

Diri said his administration had embarked on critical and sustainable measures toward addressing the challenges of the primary to tertiary health institutions in the state.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Daniel Alabrah, Governor Diri said a centre for disease control would be established in the state within 16 months, as part of new policies in the sector.

He expressed concern about some statistics from the 2018 demographic and health systems survey, which indicated that only about half of the population of pregnant women in the state received antenatal care, while the prevalence of HIV/AIDS remained high against the backdrop of substantial investments in the sector.

Diri pointed out that the summit was crucial to unraveling the challenges and seeking ways of strengthening the health system as well as foster collaboration with all stakeholders to enhance healthcare delivery.

The governor, who commended the keynote speaker, Enabulele, said his administration would adopt his paper as a working document in the Ministry of Health and thanked the Minister of Health for choosing Bayelsa to launch the Emergency Medical Ambulance Services to meet the health needs of the state.

Also speaking, former President Jonathan commended the governor for his vision and commitment to revamping the state’s health sector.

Jonathan, who identified lack of health infrastructure as a major challenge in the country, stressed the need for public-private sector partnership towards building quality healthcare delivery.

Speaking, Ehanire applauded the state government for hosting the summit to examine health issues with the objective of deepening understanding and strengthening its health programmes.

On his part, Bayelsa Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Igwele, said the health summit was meant to chart a course in addressing the challenges in the sector.

Also speaking, Country Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Walter Mulombo, expressed the organisation’s willingness to partner with the state government in addressing identified gaps in the state’s health system.