Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state government’s health architecture is primed on a well-equipped primary healthcare system that will help fight infectious diseases, especially with the intensification of immunisation efforts in the state.
The governor said this in commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day, marked every March 24, by the World Health Organisation and other organs of the United Nations system to raise awareness of the disease.
The governor said the state’s investment in human capital cuts across the education and health infrastructure, noting that the building of 500 primary healthcare centers across the state will improve access to health care services.
On the theme for this year’s celebration, “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world,”the governor said it is imperative for all leaders to mobilise their people to get immunised against tuberculosis, noting, “it is important to acknowledge the role of leaders in galvanising their people to get medical care at the centres closest to them.
“It is wrong for health workers to get to some communities and meet people who are not receptive to the drugs. We call on leaders to lead the campaign of educating their people on the need to get basic medical care rather than resort to self-help.”
The governor added that the state’s intent to set up a health insurance scheme is to make sure that health care services are accessible and affordable.
He added that the intensified campaign on immunisation in the state is anchored on the need for children to lead lives that are not shortened by vaccine-preventable diseases.
He said that the speedy refurbishment of the Institute for Lassa Fever Research and Control, Irrua, which helped to stem the spread of the disease, shows government’s resolve to tackle health issues in the state.
He maintained that there is need to fund research, encourage collaborations and partnerships and improved commitment by civil society groups to raise awareness on the epidemic, especially in underserved communities.
According to the WHO, the celebration is “to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (TB) and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The event marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch, announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosis and cure for the disease.”