By: Emmanuel Abi Couson
The Governor of Delta State Rt Hon , Sheriff Oborevwori plans to make the state a hub for medical tourism in the West Africa region and beyond.
Dr Joseph Onojaeme, Commissioner for Health stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Asaba on Friday 5 January.
He said Oborevwori administration was consolidating on the gains of the past administration in taking health care delivery to the next pedastal in the state.
The statement added that Oborevwori places premium on the health of Deltans assuring that the state government would continue to prioritise quality health care services in line with world standard health care practices.
While thanking God for the grace of seeing the new year, he commended staff of the ministry for their contributions to the development of health infrastructure in the state and urged them to brace up for the task ahead in 2024.
Onojaeme said: “there is much work to be done in the health sector this year, and I am here to pilot the team to action so that we can continue delivering the M.O.R.E agenda with respect to health care services through this Ministry.”
“Governor Oborevwori is very concerned about improving the quality of health care delivery to Deltans and will stop at nothing to provide premium health facilities and services to Deltans.
“The Governor has consistently reiterated that His M.O.R.E Agenda is not a political slogan, but a social contract with Deltans, to listen and do MORE”.
“In his well articulated MORE Agenda, the Governor has promised to give special attention to the health sector, introduce realistic reforms, commence facility and equipment upgrade and improve the human capital resources to handle the prevailing health challenges Deltans are faced with and this is reflected in the 2024 “Budget of Hope and optimism”.
“In line with His Excellency vision of putting the economy of the state on the path of sustainable growth for this year 2024, He intends to build more modern health facilities to support existing ones as well as upgrade the existing facilities to meet up to the demands of present day health challenges.
“We are also going to engage in recruitment exercise to inject more health workers into the system to meet the rising demands of health care needs in the state.
“To ensure that there is uninterrupted flow in our service delivery, we are entering a long term maintenance MOU with the equipment manufacturers to keep the machines up and running 24 hours, this will build the confidence of Deltans to rely on Delta state health care services in the state,”
The Health Commissioner said part of the Ministry’s 2024 implementation plan, it will ensure that health care service delivery gets to every part of the state, including the hard to reach rural and riverine communities, by providing incentives for health workers assigned to those health facilities in the interior.
“This is in addition to upgrading existing facilities to enable them handle the challenges of health care delivery. We will employ every strategy available to us, to ensure that His Excellency’s MORE Agenda under the health Ministry gets to all Deltans regardless of their location and political affiliation in the state”.
He commended the efforts of the state epidemiological team in reducing the scourge of communicable diseases and promised to further strengthen them.
He also noted that the World Health Organization’s special report on Non communicable diseases (NCD) estimated a loss of over $7trillion as a result of non communicable diseases, with Low and medium income countries (LMIC)accounting for 75% of the mortality and Disability adjusted life years (DALY).
“The ministry intends placing focus on attaining the global targets for NCD while strengthening the gains that has been achieved on communicable diseases. In his remarks, he noted that the ministry will be placing a lot of focus on NCD especially cardiovascular and renal diseases.
The Commissioner disclosed that renal disease is a leading cause of mortality with an increasing rate of 42% over the last two decades and the state ministry of health is worried about this statistics.
“Kidney disease alone account for 10% of all the persons coming to the hospital in our state, also more worrying is the astronomical increasing numbers of young viable individuals capable of driving the economy, developing chronic kidney disease and requiring dialysis.
“Persons suffering from renal failure spend a fortune on dialysis and treatment outside the state. 75% of renal patients earn less than a hundred thousand naira monthly yet they spend about a million naira monthly on dialysis moreover renal transplant cost over 20 times that amount, making the treatment unaffordable, unavailable and beyond the reach of Deltans.
“The state government under the visionary leadership of His Excellency, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, will explore all available options in ensuring that this trajectory is reversed through provision of quality, sustainable, innovative reusable technology and affordable renal replacement services; with special emphasis on provision of round the clock dialysis services and a reduction in the current price in all senatorial districts of the state.
“Governor Oborevwori is known for quality projects, and will not settle for anything less than the best quality for Deltans. He is very passionate about delivering the dividends of democracy laced with good and excellent healthcare for the people. He believes that only healthy people can build a thriving economy.
“I am particularly grateful to His Excellency Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who has graciously appointed me to serve Deltans in this capacity, a gesture I hold in high esteem and will never take for granted. I want to use this opportunity to encourage the management and staff of the Ministry of health to brace up for the task ahead of us, God helping us we will do our best to implement the MORE Agenda of His Excellency effectively and efficiently. I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.” Dr Onojaeme stated.