The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has approved the establishment of primary health care centres in major markets in the state, reaffirming his administration’s commitment to significantly reduce neonatal mortality.
Obaseki said this at the 3rd Stakeholders’ Meeting on Implementation of Action Plan on Prevention of Neonatal Deaths in Edo state, organised by the Reduce Neonatal Deaths Initiative, a pet project of his wife, Mrs. Betsy, held at the Government House, Benin City.
He said, “Neonatal mortality is a serious challenge in the healthcare system due to the loss of life at birth. We must all join hands to address child mortality because it negatively impacts the economy in the long run.
“We are prioritising reforms in primary healthcare to address the burden of neonatal mortality. Part of our plans is to rehabilitate and reconstruct at least one Primary Healthcare Centre in each ward across the state by next year. I have also instructed that at least a Primary Health Care centre be sited in every major market, particularly those in the urban centres,” he added.
Obaseki assured the stakeholders of his resolve to efficiently utilise scarce resources to support and improve primary healthcare services, adding, “initiatives which bring stakeholders and experts together to provide solutions to the problem of neonatal death should be assisted to achieve their aims. This will improve the healthcare system of the state.”
Wife of the governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, commended the stakeholders, who have continued to show commitment to advancing the objectives of her pet project.
According to her, “efforts to address neonatal mortality in the state will certainly be a success judging by your contributions, zeal, and courage. This will assist the state to reduce neonatal deaths and become a model for other states to emulate.”
Project Coordinator, Reduce Neonatal Deaths Initiative, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, said the project will help in addressing the problem of neonatal death as Nigeria records the second largest incidence of neonatal mortality with a rate of 5.1 percent.
She commended the Federal Government for training health workers drawn from various parts of the country, noting that the plan for the trainees to train others is a welcome development.
She said 12 health workers, who benefited from the training, are billed to train 96 other health workers to be selected from the state.