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Obaseki’s salutary efforts on Edo healthcare

By Inwalomhe Donald
09 December 2020   |   1:58 am
The commendation given Edo State Government by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria is a true reflection of the efforts of Governor Godwin Obaseki to improve public health care system in the state.

Sir: The commendation given Edo State Government by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria is a true reflection of the efforts of Governor Godwin Obaseki to improve public health care system in the state. Surely the governor is making healthcare affordable and accessible to residents across the state.

Edo State inherited a moribund health system from the military in 1999. The administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki shifted its focus to primary healthcare, which he said is to reduce the pressure on secondary and tertiary health institutions with the commencement of some pilot structures and directives that local government areas should take the initiative to build the structures. The administration established the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), which is responsible for strengthening the foundation of Edo State Primary Health Care system by increasing access to effective, efficient and sustainable health care services to Edo State residents.

In Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki has placed healthcare as a critical part of his holistic plan to attain a total, thriving society. The governor’s focus in reforming the health sector is considered by experts as apt and germane. The governor is deploying a reformist approach aimed at transforming the state’s healthcare sector. The series of interventions is anchored under the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP), which has kicked off with the rebuilding of 20 Primary Healthcare Centres across the state’s 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

On October 31, 2019, Obaseki launched the Edo State Social Health Insurance/Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) as well as revamped Primary Healthcare Centres under the Edo- Primary Health Improvement Programme. The state had made an initial contribution of N100 million to access the BHCPF, opening up opportunities to energise its health insurance programme. All of these tie up to an organic whole of a systemic plan to retool the primary healthcare system to be able to meet the needs of ordinary Edo people.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Obaseki said the focus of his administration is to improve the lives of the people through good education and provision of basic healthcare services accessible to all Edo people and residents.

He noted: “Our emphasis and the bulk of money that accrue to the state is dedicated to improve the lives of the people of Edo State through quality health and education. We are spending more than 50 per cent of our recurrent expenditure on healthcare and education. Edo Health Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP) will enable us to deal with health challenges in the state. This means a total revamp of our entire health system from basic to secondary and specialist care. Edo-HIP is comprehensive,” he added.

The governor noted that the focus of his administration is to establish 230 PHCs across Edo State as the centres will serve as referral centres, noting, “You will not be attended to in general hospitals without referral from your PHCs.”

On training and support for health officials, Obaseki said, “We have put in Information Communication Technology (ICT) to help capture information and pass it to a central database. The information gathered will be used for referrals. All over the world, healthcare services are not cheap but affordable, which is achieved by pulling resources together.
Inwalomhe Donald wrote via inwalomhe.donald@yahoo.com

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