Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, kick-started the distribution of five Million insecticide-treated nets to people across the 33 local governments of the state.
He also explained that his administration will continue to deliver accessible, affordable, and qualitative healthcare for all indigines and residents of the state, adding that his administration is committed to improving access to health care delivery by providing functional primary health care centre in each of the 351 electoral wards of the state.
Makinde, who was represented at the eve.t by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Abdul-mojeed Mogbonjubola, said that the distribution process of the nets will increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as declaring at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, venue of the event that the state will equally improve the health of mothers and children by reducing morbidity and mortality across communities.
He said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I stand here today to flag off the distribution of five million insecticide-treated nets that will be distributed across all the 33 Local Government Areas of the State. My presence at this occasion underscores the importance this administration has for the health and well-being of the people of the state.
“Malaria is still a public health challenge in Nigeria and Oyo State. It seriously challenges the health care needs of women and children in our communities, especially at the grassroots. This net distribution process is expected to increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites. This will further improve the health of mothers and children by reducing morbidity and mortality across communities.”
He assured that his administration will continue to provide accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare for all, especially children and women, saying that “we cannot fold our arms and bury our heads in the sand without acknowledging the sheer magnitude of weak health systems has thrust on the public.
“It is for this reason that the state deemed it necessary to put in place different health intervention which is free and assessable to the grassroots. Such intervention includes improving access to health care delivery by providing one primary health care centre per ward, improving human resources for health and providing community health insurance services Also, free education is provided by our College of Nursing and Midwifery,” he added.
The governor emphasized that his administration, in a bid to ensure that health services in the state are evidence-based, community data capturing is now electronic to ensure all grassroots households are captured and have access to health care services.
While explaining that distribution of the nets will prevent malaria, reduce the burden of malaria on the economy of the state and health care systems, he reassured that the state will intensify efforts in improving the healthcare-seeking behavior of the populace and give the right message and information needed on the use of insecticide-treated nets.
He added: “The focus of the state government in health care service delivery is in partnership for sustainability. It is in this wise, that this administration will continue to reach out to development partners, well-meaning organizations and notable individuals within and outside the country for partnership and collaboration to implement programmes and projects that will improve the health status of the people.
“In attaining this goal, I am pleased to state here that the Oyo State Ministry of Health, Health Insurance Agency and the State Primary Health Care Board, in collaboration with our colleges are working to ensure universal health coverage at a cost-effective and sustainable way.”
He thanked the institutions that partnered with the state including USAID, PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria, for collaborating and supporting malaria activities in Oyo State hence making the net distribution possible.
“This partnership has bought us together today to flag off this round of free net distribution that is conducted every four years, the last round was in 2016. The USAID partners (PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria) supporting malaria activities in Oyo State have collaborated with the state to make this net distribution possible.
“This support is appreciated as it actually goes beyond net distribution to diagnoses and treatment of malaria.”
“Let me make it clear that it is the goal of this administration to leave a befitting legacy in the area of health care. I recall the days when Ibadan and indeed Oyo State was a Mecca of sorts for health care services. Esteemed guest pacesetters we intend to bring those days back.”
Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Funmi Salami, said that the government embarked on an advocacy drive in the media through the airing of jingles for the populace to be aware of distribution periods and benefits of making use of insecticide treated mosquito nets in their households
She added that field workers were also engaged for the house-to-house campaign for the distribution of letters to residents, which, according to her, would enable identified people to benefit from the laudable project.
In her goodwill message, Ag Resident Adviser, USAID, Celeste Carr, admonished health workers in the state to educate pregnant women continually on the benefits they stand to derive in making use of insecticide mosquito nets at all times.
She noted that her organization pays special attention to the health status of pregnant women and children under the age of five, hence, the need for every household to key into activities that would promote healthy living in the community.
Carr, thereafter, commended the Oyo State Government for various health initiatives and its dedication to the launch of state-wide distribution of 5million insecticide mosquito nets across the state.