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Obaseki boosts emergency response with launch of Edo EMS

4 Mar 2024

L-R: Edo State Commissioner for Public Security and Safety, Kingsley Uwagbale; Project Director, ERA, Folake Owodunni; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Project Manager, ERA, Kate Ibeanusi, and Health Commissioner, Dr. Samuel Alli, during the launching of the first phase of the emergency medical services in Edo State, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

...trains 200 community-based first responders

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has boosted emergency response with the launch of the first phase of the emergency medical services in the State.

The emergency medical service provides toll free numbers of 112 and 739 linked to the Solomon Arase Command and Control Centre in the State to enable residents to get medical services within a space of ten minutes.

The Edo EMS emergency medical services number for prompt response to emergency health issues covers Oredo, Egor, and other selected parts of the State for the first or pilot phase of the programme. 200 Community-Based First Responders (CBFR) are to be trained in the next one week to flag off the programme.

Speaking to the 200 CBFR, at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA), Governor Godwin Obaseki said the Edo EMS emergency medical services number is one of the most innovative services that has been launched in Nigeria's healthcare system.


According to him, “The Edo Emergency Medical Services is an integrated system, as you can't do one without the other. You must have a network of responders, carefully selected people across the network, give them required training and support, have communication devices, and a functional command and control Center where calls come in as each step is monitored, and a system that pays for these services on a sustainable basis. In Nigeria, we have not been able to sustain our emergency response.

"We have been able to crack it in Edo State and I am here to be trained as an emergency responder. We must care for our people and care for each other. We have partners ready to collaborate with us as they are truly committed to providing emergency services for our people.”


He further noted, "This service is possible because of the diligent steps taken in the last six years as a government to think through how to provide services for our people and citizens, particularly in the healthcare sector. We realized early that healthcare is not equal to hospitals but a system that provides for the well-being of the people.

"Early in my administration, we decided on the health improvement plan for Edo State and thanks to the CMD of UBTH who was with us in the beginning when we conceptualized what you are seeing today.

"We must decentralize health care, and make sure the primary health care system works as that system has recruited most of the responders we see here today. Healthcare is all about having committed and dedicated people that will man the healthcare system and make it work.”

Speaking on the State’s Health Insurance Scheme and efforts to make healthcare affordable for Edo residents, Obaseki said: “Our own health insurance scheme is one of the best run in Nigeria as we have over 200,000 enrollees in the short term we have established it. The enrollees have been paying their premium diligently and we are proud of their services.”

He charged the responders, “You are the most critical factor as you are being trained as emergency responders. I want to thank you for volunteering yourself to receive the training and skills required to provide the support. I want to assure you that we have thought it through very carefully as yours is a network to be encouraged and supported because you are a critical factor in saving lives in Edo State.”

Representative of Partner Emergency Response Africa, Folake Owodunni who made a presentation on Project Overview of Edo EMS said emergency care is the right of every citizen and should be accessed by everyone in the State.

She noted, “We have selected 200 responders who will be trained as we have developed a robust training curriculum. We have revitalized and prepared four ambulances for the pilot phase for Oredo, Egor and selected parts of the State.”

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