Pandemic: Bayelsa Govt gives marching order to primary health workers

Posted by News Express | 6 April 2020 | 386 times

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•Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo

Bayelsa State Government has charged primary health workers to intensify their efforts at preventing the outbreak and spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the charge over the weekend at a meeting with the Coordinators of Primary Healthcare in the eight local government areas of the state in Government House, Yenagoa.

Expressing dissatisfaction with their current efforts, Senator Ewhrudjakpo, urged them not to be carried away by the fact that the state is yet to record any confirmed case of COVID-19 infection.

The Deputy Governor pointed out that primary health care workers have a critical role to play in the fight against the pandemic as prevention remains the most effective panacea to any disease.

Consequently, he directed the coordinators to work closely with their respective local government council chairmen to sensitise the people on the danger of contracting the Coronavirus.

His words: “The State Government will not shy away from taking responsibility to be sure that we are putting all hands on deck to ensure that COVID-19 does not come into our state.

“And the only way we can do that is for those of you in the primary healthcare sector to do what is expected of you. For now, prevention is the best solution and not the cure.

“Yes, ventilators are necessary but you can see that with all the sophisticated health system of the United States, Italy and other developed countries, they are not able to withstand COVID-19.

“So, clearly it is a prevention issue. Once you stop it from coming in, you've got it right. That is why all our emphasis and efforts should be geared towards prevention especially now that we don’t have any single case of infection.”

Emphasising the need for personal hygiene, Senator Ewhrudjakpo urged them to provide water, soap and other cost effective facilities at public places such as jetties and motor parks to promote hand washing.

The Deputy Governor also took a swipe on the state Primary Healthcare Development (PHC) Board over what he described as unsatisfactory management of funds meant for routine immunisation.

He however promised to convene a meeting between the Board and its local government coordinators to decide a better allocation formula to promote immunisation in the state.

Taking turns to brief the Deputy Governor on their activities, the Local Government Primary Healthcare Coordinators expressed gratitude to Senator Ewhrudjakpo for his interest in the development of the primary health subsector.

The coordinators, who are also the directors of health at the local government level, however requested the Deputy Governor to prevail on council chairmen to give more support for better healthcare delivery in the rural areas.

Speaking as the Chairman of the Health Directors’ Forum, the Coordinator of Primary Healthcare, Nembe Local Government Area, Chief Igbogi Pulemote, noted that immunisation effort in the state is suffering avoidable setback due to paucity of funds.

According to Chief Pulemote, funds meant for the exercise are allegedly mismanaged as only five percent of the Routine Immunization (RI) Funds is being released by the state Primary Healthcare Development Board to the local government level.

Source: News Express

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