The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for sustained collaboration among stakeholders, including health workers, religious leaders and traditional rulers, among others to vaccinate more people in the state and protect them from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Obaseki made the call when he received the executive members of Edo State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
According to the governor, “this is the worst time for doctors to go on strike because we are approaching a difficult time with the third wave of Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is highly transmissible and affecting everybody particularly, young people. You have a huge role to play as we can’t afford to lose people carelessly.
“There is hope of reducing mortality when people get vaccinated but why would healthcare workers hesitate to be vaccinated? What kind of message are they sending out?” he queried.
Obaseki continued: “I call on all your members to collaborate with us and let us get many of our citizens vaccinated and build a healthy community. I don’t want to bother myself about the national average, but I am concerned about the Edo average and I am willing to push it beyond 50 percent, with your collaboration.
“If we can’t get more vaccines from the federal government, we would appeal to our people abroad to help us with vaccines. We want to vaccinate our people because what is coming might be catastrophic.
“We have to come together to rebuild the system as COVID-19 has shown that our medical system is bad and needs to be fixed. The healthcare system must be transformed.”
“The quality of care in the hospitals where we work should be the same quality of care in our privately-owned hospital and the drugs provided should be the same. We must ensure there is access to healthcare. How to fund healthcare is important to us, which is why our administration put in place an important policy: the state’s Health Insurance Scheme. This is because we believe that people should not die because they don’t have money,” he added.
Earlier, the Chairman of NMA, Edo State Chapter, Dr. Omohua Harrison, commended the governor’s efforts in transforming the healthcare system in the state.
He said the association is inviting the governor to the National Executive Meeting/Scientific Conference 2021, which will be hosted by the state.
“The National body of the association has commended your commitment, courage and dedication to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.