By Abooluwa Famakinwa, Akure
Towards bringing quality and affordable healthcare to the door steps of its citizenry and achieve Universal Health Coverage, the Ondo State Government says it is prioritising Primary Healthcare.
The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu gave this insight at the 1st quarter 2019 Polio Task Force meeting which held in Akure.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said in demonstration of the pivotal position accorded Primary Healthcare, the State Government is doing all within the limited resources available to the state to revitalise and invigorate Primary healthcare sector in the State.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Arakunrin Alfred Agboola Ajayi said this commitment is epitomised by the recent distribution of Medical and Laboratory equipment to 300 Primary Healthcare facilities in the state.
The Governor who said there was a 1st phase of distribution of equipment to 18 Primary Healthcare facilities late last year, promised that his administration will not relent till all Primary Healthcare facilities in the State have been reached and empowered to carry out their mandate effectively.
He disclosed that 18 Primary Healthcare facilities across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State will be renovated and equipped to meet the Minimum Service Package standard.
Responding to the feedback report on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization presented by the WHO, the Governor said the State is not doing badly but there is need to scale up the progress and not rest on its oars until it has succeeded in preventing the painful death of children that can occur through vaccine preventable diseases.
Talking about improved immunisation coverage, the Governor said all children in the state must be immunised, hence the state is partnering the State Oil producing Areas Commission (OSOPADEC) to help in transporting Health Workers in the riverine area so that children in that area can be immunised.
He disclosed that his government is working tirelessly to make the State unconducive for criminals so that Health Workers will be free to do their work and children in areas facing security challenges can be reached.
Governor Akeredolu commended stakeholders for their doggedness, ensuring that the state is polio free and routine immunisation is improved, this he said has resulted in the rating of the State as the best in Southern Nigeria while charging them to work harder.
In his feedback report on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunisation, the WHO State Coordinator, Dr Akinola Fatiregun who reviewed the performance of each Local Government Area in routine immunisation concluded that there is improvement as the State moved from 71% last quarter to 79% this quarter.
The WHO State Coordinator who was represented by Mr Opeyemi Ekun said the Taskforce meeting was meant to find out how States have performed in terms of the Abuja Commitment, the involment of the Governor, Local Government Chairmen and other stakeholders in routine immunisation.
Mr Ekundayo spelt out the roles of stakeholders,how they have performed and how they can improve.
He implored the Local Government Chairmen to spearhead activities of routine immunisation and the ward development committee to always hold monthly task force meeting.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Wahab Adegbenro welcomed members and reminded them that membership of the Task Force is a clarion call to save the lives of under 5 children in the State.
Dr Adegbenro said the meeting was to appraise activities, performance, applaud positive feedback, take seriously drawbacks and map out strategies for improvement until every child under a year has been immunised.
The Executive Secretary, Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Francis Akanbiemu appreciated the government for the political will and conducive environment the health sector had enjoyed.
He also placed on record his indebtedness to all stakeholders for making it possible for the state to achieve desired target.