The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated the governing board for the state’s primary healthcare development agency, in furtherance of ongoing health reforms in the state.
Obaseki at the inauguration of the board at the Government House, in Benin City, said the board will help bolster the government's efforts at repositioning the healthcare system and promoting access to quality healthcare services by the people.
He said, “This is a significant development in the repositioning of our healthcare system. We have always emphasized that our healthcare superstructure rests on the primary healthcare system because that is the point in which the bulk of our citizens can engage with the health system.
“The board has been restructured, the law has been reviewed, and what we have now is adequate for us to start and get to the level we want to.”
He noted that his administration is committed to establishing at least one primary healthcare center in every ward in the state to ensure every citizen has access to quality healthcare services.
Obaseki noted, “You will help us rapidly expand primary healthcare using the resources available, collaborate with EdoHIS; encourage collaboration with other sectors at all levels in the development and support of primary healthcare systems to avoid waste of resources and duplication of efforts; supervise and oversee the running of primary healthcare facilities in the state; promote and monitor the implementation of our health plans at various levels of the primary healthcare system and ensure effective implementation and supervision of all primary healthcare activities as well as monitor the maintenance of the minimum acceptable standard in our primary healthcare.”
He added, “We need to change the health seeking behavior of our people and ensure that there is effective community involvement and participation in healthcare activities from inception to execution. Go into the communities and make the people know what we have been doing in the healthcare system. Develop effective programmes for training and retraining of primary healthcare providers in the state. Strengthen referrals and linkages in other branches of the healthcare sector especially in the areas of maternal and child health, reproductive healthcare and other ailments with the view of significantly reducing morbidity and mortality.
“I will expect periodic reports from you based on the data that you pick from the field. We expect that there will be a sound database for effective planning, implementation and supervision of primary healthcare activities in the state which will be done again based on the data which you are collecting daily from the field.” The chairman of the board, Dr. Felix Ogedegbe, while responding on behalf of the board, applauded the governor's drive to take quality healthcare services closer to the people.
He said, “The reconstitution of the agency, the appointment of the executive secretary and now, the inauguration of the board goes to show the commitment and emphasis the governor places on repositioning of primary healthcare in Edo state. “You have put much emphasis in developing a virile primary healthcare system for Edo State and have chosen us to help in doing this. I am pleased to say that we expect to achieve all of the things you have set out for us to achieve.”