President, Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr Osahon Enabulele, has highlighted adequate funding, political stability and training as key to quality service in the health sector.
Enebule stated this in his lecture at the opening of the maiden Bayelsa Health Summit in Yenagoa on Monday.
The three-day summit is themed ‘Achieving Improved Health System Performance Through Strategic Planning and Stakeholder Engagement.’
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, at the event, said the state would give priority to the health sector as part of the initiative to improve the overall wellbeing of the citizens.
The event had in attendance Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan; the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, among other stakeholders.
Governor Diri said his administration was embarking on critical and sustainable measures toward addressing the challenges of the primary to tertiary health institutions in the state.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Daniel Alabrah, stated that a centre for disease control would be established in the state within 16 months as part of policies being unfolded in the sector.
The governor, in the statement, expressed concern about some statistics from the 2018 Demographic and Health Systems Survey, which indicated that only about half of the population of pregnant women in the state received antenatal care, while the prevalence of HIV/AIDS remained high against the backdrop of substantial investments made in the sector.
According to Diri, the summit is key to unravelling the challenges and seeking ways of strengthening the health system as well as fostering collaboration with stakeholders to enhance healthcare delivery.
He said, “We are working very hard to actualise our performance tracking plan. My administration is looking forward to concluding a framework for the development of Bayelsa 10-year health system improvement plan.
“My government will ensure that the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme initiated by my predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, enjoys robust support as we strive to address issues of safe motherhood and reduction of infant and maternal mortality.”
Commending Enabulele, the governor said his administration would adopt his paper as a working document in the Ministry of Health.
He also thanked the Minister of Health for his choice of Bayelsa to launch the Emergency Medical Ambulance Services to meet the health needs of the state.
Former President Jonathan commended the governor for his vision and commitment in revamping the health sector.
Dr. Jonathan, who identified lack of health infrastructure as a major challenge in the country, stressed the need for public-private sector partnership towards building quality healthcare delivery.
“There is need for the private sector to partner with the government because we may have excellent manpower but lack equipment,” he said.
Ehanire, in his remarks, lauded the state government for hosting the summit to examine health issues with the objective of deepening understanding and strengthening its health programmes.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health was working on a new programme to collaborate with states’ health insurance schemes towards providing comprehensive healthcare for all citizens.
In his address, Bayelsa Commissioner for Health, Dr Pabara Igwele, said the health summit was meant to address the challenges in the sector.
Also speaking, the World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr Walter Mulombo, expressed the organisation’s willingness to partner with the state government in addressing the health system gaps.
Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekwazu; Chairman, Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete-Spiff; and Chief Medical Director, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Dr Dimie Ogoina, were among those who presented goodwill messages at the summit.
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