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By Stephen Adeleye.
The Federal Government says it will release 1.6 million U.S. dollars to Kogi Government to boost healthcare services in the state.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this on Thursday at the flag-off ceremony of Kogi State Health Care Plus, tagged “Bello Health Care Plus”, in Lokoja.
The minister commended the governor for his exemplary approach to Yellow fever and Measles Campaigns in the state by releasing the allocated funds, which has impacted on the lives of many of its citizens.
“When there is an outbreak in Lokoja and they are calling on the federal ministry of health, something is wrong. We will partner with the Commissioner for Health by doing whatever we will do.
“We gave Kogi 1.5 million U.S. dollars last year, and in a couple of days we will give another 1.6 million dollars.
“When other states are planning Kogi has been executing, while others are saying the federal government should, Kogi is either saying ‘we have done’ or ‘we are doing,” Adewole said.
He noted that Nigeria used to have one of the worst maternal mortality rate in the world because the facilities were not functioning.
But the minister said “once there is human resources it will reduce mortality.
“Investing in our people is very good and there is no other way we can connect with our people but by investing in their education and health.
“The President of the World Bank has mentioned that the World Bank has made mistakes over the years by talking about restructuring over and again. Now we recognise we must invest in our people.
“I want to thank you for touching the lives of Kogi people and moving the state in the right direction.
“You are rehabilitating the healthcare infrastructure, investing in human resources and joining in medical outreach programmes.
“At the Federal Government level, we have done about 8,000 free surgeries last year alone and so you’ve made our job easier because health is in the concurrent list.
“When governors and government invest in health, it makes our job at the federal level easier,” Adewole said.
He noted that there were some state governors that were yet to release allocated monies, stressing that Gov. Yahaya Bello did not only approve but he also released the funds.
In his remarks, Bello said that the initiative was one of his greatest achievements that he was highly proud of, restating his commitment to meet the set targets of the new direction government.
Bello listed some of his achievements in the health sector as the renovation of 36 primary healthcare centres, building of Advance Medical and Diagnostic Centre (CAMDIC) which would be equipped with cutting edge equipment and due for inauguration soon.
He added that the first phase of the initiative would take off immediately in 12 local government areas of the state, while the remaining areas would follow in few months.
“All services under this initiative are totally free in all the designated centres,” said the governor.
Bello however warned medical and health workers against monetising the services, saying a monitoring team will be put in place to curb sharp practices.
The governor promised to continue to demonstrate his strong political will to delievr dividends of democracy encapsulated in the New Direction Government for the development of the state and better living for the people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the initiative includes distribution of delivery kits, post partum haemorrhage packs, hypertensive packs, episitomy packs, and launching of health rangers and free healthcare services.
Others are free maternal and new born healthcare services, free deliveries including operative services, free antenatal drugs, free treatment of newborn baby in the first month of life.
Free laboratory tests including obstetric ultrasound to the various primary healthcare centres in the state as well as free starter packs for newborn formed part of the initiative.
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