By Edima Frank
The Special Adviser to Governor Ayade on Community and Primary Health Care, Dr. Betta Edu has visited Bakassi local government area as part of the ongoing Needs Assessment tour of primary health facilities and town hall meetings with relevant stakeholders in the health sector.
The interactive meeting which was chaired by the representative of the LGA Chairman, Mrs. Ekpoawan Ekpenyong, also had several other senior members of the legislative council in attendance including the Supervisor for Health, Hon. Inok Otu, Leader of the Legislative Council, Hon. Felix Eyo, the PHC Coordinator, Mr Nsa Effiong.
The Chairman of Bakassi LGA in her remarks commended the effort of the Ayade led government, noting that the governor is passionately driven to ensuring quality health care services to the people of Bakassi.
She disclosed to the stakeholders that the meeting is in line with Governor Ayade’s promise to revitalize healthcare in the state, urging them to discuss, dialogue and come out with a resolution that will drastically uplift the standard of primary health care delivery in the Local Government Area.
The Chairman also thanked the Special Adviser, Dr. Betta Edu and her team for choosing Bakassi for the first town hall meeting.
The Special Adviser who had earlier inspected some health centres in Abakpa, Ekpri Obutong and Ikang decried poor handling of health facilities by health workers, extortion of money from clients by PHC workers and lack of maintenance of the health centers.
She assured Bakassi people of government willingness to provide quality healthcare to them.
According to her, the process has already began with needs assessment tour to enable the government know the areas to act.
She further informed the stakeholders of three new health policies introduced by Governor Ayade that will help in revitalizing primary health care delivery in the state.
The policies are the State Health Insurance scheme which would include community based health insurance scheme.
She said the scheme will grant everyone access to health services for a token of N1000.
It will be free for children under 5, pregnant women, very poor and elderly persons above 65.
Another policy according to her is mobile health care program which will bring health care services to the doorstep of every one.
The third is a program initiated by the Wife of the Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade on community policing of pregnant women to reduce maternal mortality rate.
The stakeholders in their various responses complained about inadequate health workers in the health facilities leaving most residents with no one to provide emergency health services when challenges occur at night. They appealed to the state government to find ways to immediately bridge the gap.
They also complained of PHC workers extorting money from patients.
At the end of the meeting, the following resolutions were adopted:
• To support community based health insurance scheme.
•To establish one functional heath center in each political ward.
•To support and sustain mobile primary health care delivery system.
•To participate in community ownership of health facilities.
• To support community policing to reduce maternal mortality.
• Bakassi women should use health facilities for maternal delivery instead of unskilled traditional birth attendants or churches.
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