By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has declared free malaria treatment for children under five years, pregnant women and the aged in the state.
He also declared free delivery for pregnant women in the state.
The governor said these would be enjoyed in all the 177 Primary Healthcare Centres across the state, under ‘Ulera Wa Scheme”.
Governor Oyebanji, made this known in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday while commissioning the Okesa Comprehensive Health Centre, fully equipped with state of the art equipment, in Ado Ekiti, as part of activities marking the first anniversary of his administration.
He stated that the welfare and well-being of the citizens remain a top priority of his government, adding that he would not leave anyone behind in the provision of quality health services, especially for children under five years of age.
He stated that his administration, had more than ever before, allocated more resources to both secondary and tertiary health institutions in the state, having approved an aggressive and immediate renovation of those facilities in the state.
On welfare, the Governor hinted that health workers in the state have started enjoying hazard allowance and other benefits since March 2023, just as his government has given approval for Hospitals Management Board to fill consequential vacancies occasioned by retirement of various cadres of workforce to allow effectiveness and efficiency of the sector.
The Governor said he had promised the people of the state during his electioneering campaign that he would make healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone, especially, the vulnerable populace, adding that he would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the people live a good and healthy life.
Governor Oyebanji, who cut the tape declaring facility open, thanked members of the Response Resources Mobilization Committee (RRMC) for the wonderful job they did during the COVID-19 pandemic and urged them to rejig their efforts towards pulling more resources to the state to enable his administration drive effective and a desired health sector that would be an envy of other states of the federation.
He said the Primary Health Centre is the gateway to any healthcare delivery, adding that that was the reason he had joined hands with his siblings to build a maternity facility in Aramoko Ekiti General Hospital in memory of their late mother, due for commissioning later in the year.
The Governor also revealed that his government has approved the hosting of the 64th National Council of Health in Ekiti with the belief that their deliberations in the state would have positive and indelible impact on the healthcare delivery in the state.
“I am here this evening to commission this newly equipped facility which was built through the effort of the Response Resources Mobilization Committee (RRMC) in collaboration with Ekiti State Government.
“This administration has now equipped this facility to ensure it serves our people. You will agree with me that the health of Ekiti citizens takes front burner in the programmes and policies of our administration. We are living to our determination and promises not to leave anyone behind in matters if health services delivery.
“Our commitment in ensuring universal health coverage is daily yielding impressive results, as the state’s flagship health insurance programme known as ‘Ulera wa’ has become accessible in 177 health facilities in the state, fully covering children under age five as well as some people with disability.
“With Ulera wa, no woman should have to pay for delivery at any of our PHCs in Ekiti state. To ensure services are available at the point of use, we have in addition to this facility committed resources to our secondary health facilities as well. Our tertiary health facility, EKSUTH. It is currently being worked upon to make sure that our critical infrastructure is well maintained to provide comfort, quality and safe healthcare for our clients.
“I addition to this, the welfare of healthcare workers in the state has been prioritized, this administration has approved the payment of hazard allowance for health workers in the state public service. Health workers have enjoyed the implementation of hazard allowance since March 2023.
“Also in a bid to improve the human capital development in the health sector, government approves the recruitment of health workers for HMB to fill the consequential vacancies gap and to provide effective and efficient medical services to our citizenry.
“This administration has also approved the introduction of parity payment for health workers in the state. This is with a view to improve health workers motivation and to me, this is a campaign promise I made to you”, the Governor said .
Earlier the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani commended the Governor for the various motivation he had given health workers in the state by increasing their salaries and granting them hazard allowance.
The Commissioner noted that the importance of Comprehensive Health Centre cannot be underestimated as it is the gateway to any effective and efficient healthcare facilities as he stressed the need to providing all necessary requirements to deliver good quality services for the people at this level.
The event was also attended by the Wife of Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji; Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adeoye Aribasoye; Deputy Speaker, members of the House of Assembly; members of the State Executive Council; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro and traditional rulers among others.