3 Jul


Bayelsa State Government has restated its commitment to work with the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the health sector to reduce Infant and Maternal Mortality across the State.Similarly, the government has pledged its desire to collaborate with various agencies to reduce the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the State and country.

Governor Seriake Dickson made this pledge when a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Health led by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate paid him a courtesy call in Government House, Yenagoa.

Expressing appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan for the opportunities given to the state in terms of partnership and collaboration on various key sub-sectors of the economy, the Governor said Bayelsa state is willing and looking forward to working closely with the Federal Government and the Ministry of Health to ensure that the people of the State and the Country benefit from all the health programmes and policies of governments at various levels.

According to him, the state has continually made huge investments and giant strides in its efforts at repositioning the health sector with a view to delivering on its Restoration agenda.“Here in Bayelsa, we have a robust agenda as you have been told already. We are currently building various health facilities across the length and breadth of our state. We are also building a diagnostic centre. I don’t know whether you have taken a look at it.“When that is completed, I don’t think there will be any facility of its kind in the country. We don’t want people to be going out for diagnostic and treatment” he noted.

Hon. Dickson, who remarked that, the state has concluded arrangements with development partners to complete work on the 500-bed Melford Okilo General Hospital in Yenagoa, which was started by previous administrations in the State.The Governor, who also spoke on the State Health Services Scheme bill, explained that, when signed into law, it will give medical insurance to citizens of the state with a view to ensuring that every bayelsan is made to undergo a compulsory medical diagnosis once every year.“Those benefitting from this programme will be entitled to go for diagnosis at the expense of the Health Insurance Fund put in place by Government”.

Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, said the purpose of the visit which is an advocacy package developed by the minister to visit eight states in the country, is aimed at improving the health and well-being of Nigerians with a mandate to improving on maternal health care and eradicating other preventable diseases using the Primary Health Care Platform.

The Minister expressed appreciation with the efforts of the state government so far in the health sub-sector while calling on the Governor to sustain the tempo.Promising that the ministry will offer technical support to the state government, Dr. Pate stated that success will only come through strong political leadership and accountability, noting that 30,000 lives could be saved from preventable diseases in the state if adequate steps are taken by government to address key health issues.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State


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