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We Are Focusing On 200 Primary Health Care, Equipped With Solar, Says Obaseki

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has has said that he is focusing on refurbishing at least 200 Primary Health Care and equipping them with a solar power system to boost telemedicine across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.

He said this during the launch of the telemedicine programme in Central Clinic, Ukpenu in Esan West Local Government area of the state.

Mr. Obaseki added that the deployment of telemedicine programmes across Primary Healthcare Centres in the State will ensure delivery of quality healthcare to Edo people.

Obaseki said the telemedicine programme in the State is a dream come through for his administration, noting that the government met a broken healthcare system when it came into office in 2016.

He noted that his administration focused on two major areas namely education and healthcare system to restore the dignity of the people.

“This administration has changed the narrative in the education sector and now we are doing the same with the healthcare system.

“Now our focus is on the healthcare system focusing on Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC) across the State. We are building clinics in different Communities. We focused on refurbishing at least 200 PHC and equipped them with a solar power system. About 50 PHC have Internet, solar, water, admission space for male and females. They are fenced and have secured facilities and are ready to provide medical services for Edo people.”

Obaseki acknowledged the shortage of doctors and nurses in the State, noting that his administration is working to correct the challenges faced with the establishment of one of the best training schools in the State to groom health workers.

“The truth is that we don’t have enough doctors. However, we have vowed that we can train nurses and community health workers. Today, we have one of the best nursing schools in Benin City, training nurses. The first set of nursing graduates from the school will leave school in September this year.

“It is not only nurses you meet in Hospital or PHC; you have other categories of workers like community health workers, pharmacy assistants, laboratory assistants, among others. The school established by Samuel Ogbemudia to train this set of people was run down. We are now revamping the Edo State School of Medical Health Technology, to help train the people that will work in our hospital and PHCs across the State”, Obaseki added.

On the infrastructure to support the telemedicine programme, the governor said: “In the last one year, we have been working with my local government Chairmen and have connected every local government area in the State with fiber optic internet infrastructure.

“Healthcare is very expensive and to address the problem of cost, we introduced the Edo State Health Insurance Scheme. I appeal to our citizens to embrace the scheme. The one we are doing here today comes to about N17,800 a year. It gives you access to this clinic and other offerings.

“Each PHC now has their own electronic records. Your information will be readily available for use by doctors. It can be used to treat or advise patients as the case may be. We buy medicine in bulk. You can always come to our PHCs for medication. We have drugs and they are original.

“I am here today to join you to bring telemedicine to Edo Central Senatorial District. This is the first in Edo Central. We will open more centers. I am appealing to you to enroll in the health insurance scheme as health is wealth. With this telemedicine programme, you will get the best quality care from the best doctors in the world.”

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samuel Alli said telemedicine is intended to bridge the gap between rural and urban healthcare systems as the programme is creating access to professionals providing general and specialized healthcare services.

He urged market women and other Edo citizens to embrace Edo Health Insurance Scheme as it will enable them access quality health.

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