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Health sector: Bayelsa justifies investment, says we’re battle ready for Lassa fever

Gov. Henry Seriake Dickson
Bayelsa state government on Tuesday said improved healthcare delivery services had been improved because of its various policies and programmes in the health sector which have been impacting tremendously on the lives of the people.

Already, the government in partnership with the Federal government, World Bank and other related agencies have embarked on a project called: “Save One million Lives for Result Programme”, to ensure accessibility and affordability of health services.

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, stated this while presenting his Ministry’s score card at the Inter-Ministerial/Agency Briefing, held at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa.

He attributed the numerous achievements recorded in the sector in the last six years to the leadership style of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, adding that the sector was in a state of decay prior to the present administration.

According to him, most of the health facilities inherited from the previous administrations were obsolete while the so called General Hospitals were mere consulting clinics without personnel.

“It is sad to note that, prior to this period, our people travelled several kilometers to neighbouring states for medical treatment and in the process many lost their lives”, the Commissioner said.

He however said that with the present administration’s disposition to the sector and its huge investments, the sector with trained personnel and facilities on ground can handle any health related situations.

Speaking on the outbreak of Lassa fever in some parts of the country, Etebu assured that measures have been put in place to check the spread, however stressed the need for proper hygiene and healthy environment.

He said, “There is no reported case of Lassa Fever in any part of the state but our people need to be conscious of their environment and if there is any incident of the disease, please report it to the nearest hospital for prompt attention.

“We need to be proactive in the way and manner we handle health related and other issues, that is why the present administration is committing so much to the sector.”

The Commissioner also spoke on the various policies and programmes of the government with direct impact on the people of the state.

He said, the newly introduced Bayelsa Health Service Scheme is now gaining ground as people have begun to know its importance.

Etebu said the people of the state now have access to Medical/Health facilities with their monthly savings, adding that the programme has been expanded to cater for all pregnant women in the state.

He said the programme was expanded to cater for the pregnant women and reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate in the state.

The Commissioner also highlighted other achievements of the present administration, including the establishment of the Diagnostic Centre, Drug Storage and Distribution Centre and Construction of modern referral Centres in the 8 Local Government Areas.

Others are construction of house officers quarters at the Federal Medical Centre, production of specialist manpower as well as the performing of recanalization surgery for diabetic patients.

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