By Ogar Monday
The Obong of Calabar and Grand Patriarch of the Efik Kingdom, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu (V) has thrown his weight behind the ongoing immunization exercise against vaccine preventable diseases as well as supporting the campaign on the reduction of maternal mortality in Cross River State.
The Obong made this known when the Director General, Cross River Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRPHCDA) Dr. Betta Edu paid him an advocacy visit at his palace recently.
The Monarch while speaking said the state of the primary health care system in Nigeria which is rooted in the ideas and vision of Dr. Ransome Kuti is in a deplorable state not just in Cross River but across the country.
His words: “The idea of the primary health care system was to have a cluster of primary health care centers surrounding a public hospital, with the health centers referring cases which were beyond their expertise to these hospitals, but like most visions of that time, the idea died with those who birthed them, with degradation taking over.”
Adding that, “We don’t just want the building or renovation of health center but for them to deliver efficient services, as a renovated health center without the service delivered makes no sense.” He maintained.
However, he expressed his hope that this synergy will be a new dawn as he promised that he and his Council of Chiefs will spread the message to their various villages, but still pray for effective administration at the centers.
Earlier while speaking, the DG, Cross River Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu said the visit to the Obong was to show respect to the throne and solicit his continued assistance in health care delivery advocacy in the State.
Dr. Betta further pleaded with the King of Efiks to encourage women in the rural communities to use the primary health centers provided by the government for free rather than patronize quack traditional birth attendants and prayer houses to risk their lives.
Highpoint of the visit was the immunization of a baby by the Obong of Calabar.
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