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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Addressing Healthcare Challenges in Ondo: Our Strategy – Aiyedatiwa

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The Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has announced that the administration has commenced the renovation and construction of more health facilities across the state.

Mr Aiyedatiwa, represented by his deputy, Olayide Adelami, spoke at the 40th annual general meeting and scientific conference of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN), held in Akure.

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Mr Aiyedatiwa noted that while the health sector was identified to be very critical to the development of the state from the onset, the initiative to build more health facilities and upgrade existing ones is topmost, and at the centre of his administration’s agenda.

“We are undertaking structural and infrastructural upgrades of our health facilities,” he said.

“For example, the construction of 500 bedded wards in the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH), the construction and renovation of many health facilities and the replacement of obsolete medical equipment with ultra-modern down-to-the-earth equipment, across all levels of care.”

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Recruitment

The governor also revealed that his administration is currently recruiting more hands into the state’s health sector to replace health workers who have relocated abroad.

“We understand that many of those we employed in the past have relocated abroad for greener pasture, so we have decided to employ up to 1,000 health professionals across all cadres to replace those who have left. These recruitment processes are already ongoing,” he noted.

The governor said the theme for this year’s APHPN conference, ‘Repositioning Public Health in a New Political Dispensation’ is a timely call to service for all the stakeholders.

He said: “To reposition public health, we must agree that it is through collective efforts of all the stakeholders: the government, health professionals, patients and partners.”

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He said: “As a government, we will continue to improve on our performances. At this juncture, I want to assure all that we will not rest on our laurels until we ensure that public health is fully repositioned.

“I wish that our health professionals would work as a team and complement the efforts of government.”

FG health commitments

The governor also commended President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda on Health and the appointment of the minister of health, Ali Pate, whom he described “as a perfect fit for the job.”

In her remarks, the Special Adviser to the President on Health, Salma Anas, assured Nigerians that President Tinubu is truly committed to reforming the health sector.

According to Ms Anas, the topic of the conference fully aligns with the position of Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda on health, with a focus on achieving universal health coverage by leaving no one behind.

“We are committed to reforming the health sector to ensure that we close the gaps between those in need of services and available services or expand the services,” she said.

Repositioning health services

In his comments, the National President of APHPN, Alphonsus Isara, commended the state governor for providing a conducive environment for their members to effectively do their jobs and complement the efforts of the government to deliver qualitative healthcare.

Mr Isara said the theme of the conference is an opportunity for members to deliberate on ways to reposition public healthcare services in Nigeria.

Delivering the keynote address, Adesegun Fatusi, a professor of public health and community medicine, recommended that the APHPN must contribute to increased production of health workers, and engage in data-driven and research-based decisions, towards improved health system performance.

Mr Fatusi also advised “public health practitioners in the country to position themselves as topmost advocates for improved health development.”

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