We’re building more health facilities in Ondo – Aiyedatiwa

Ondo state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has said his administration has embarked on the renovation and construction of health facilities across the state.

Governor Aiyedatiwa, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Olayide Adelami, made this known at the 40th Annual General Meeting and scientific conference of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN), held in Akure, on Tuesday.

He noted that the health sector was identified to be very critical to the development of the state from the onset, adding that the initiative to build more health facilities and upgrade existing ones is topmost and at the center of his administration’s agenda.

“We are undertaking structural and infrastructural upgrades of our health facilities. For example, the construction of 500 bedded wards in the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH), the construction and renovation of many health facilities and replacement of obsolete medical equipment with ultra-modern down-to-the-earth equipment, across all levels of care”.

The governor also revealed that his administration is currently recruiting more hands into the state health sector, saying it has become imperative to do so in order to replace health workers who have relocated abroad.

He said, “we understand that many of those we employed in the past have relocated abroad for greener pastures, so we have decided to employ up to 1000 health professionals across all cadres to replace those who have left. This recruitment processes are already ongoing”

He applauded the Renewed Hope agenda on health of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and also commended the president for appointing the minister of health, Ali Pate, whom he described as a perfect fit for the job.

The governor thanked the leadership of the association for choosing Ondo state as the venue of the conference, adding that the theme for this year’s conference, ‘Repositioning Public Health in a New Political Dispensation’ is a timely call to service for all the stakeholders.

“To reposition public health, we must agree that it is through collective efforts of all the stakeholders: the government, health professionals, patients and partners.

“As a government, we will continue to improve on our performances. At this juncture, I want to assure all that we will not rest on our laurels until we ensure that the public health is fully repositioned. I wish that our health professionals would work as a team and complement the efforts of government” the governor submitted.

In his opening remarks, the national president of Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN), Professor Alphonsus Isara, explained that the theme for this year’s conference “Repositioning Public Health in a New Political Dispensation” is apt and will afford members opportunity to deliberate on ways to reposition public healthcare services in Nigeria.

He also commended Governor Aiyedatiwa for providing a conducive environment for their members to effectively do their jobs and complement efforts of government to deliver qualitative healthcare.

On her part, Special Adviser to the President on health, Dr Salma Anas, assured Nigerians that President Tinubu is truly committed to reforming the health sector.

According to her, “The topic of this conference is apt and it fully aligns with the position of the Renewed Hope agenda on health of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with a focus to achieve universal health coverage by leaving no one behind. We are committed to reforming the health sector with a view to ensuring that we close the gaps between those in need of services and available services or expand the services”

The Keynote speaker at the event, Adesegun Fatusi, a professor of public health and community medicine, summed up his lecture by recommending that the APHPN must contribute to increased production of health workers, engage in data-driven decisions and research oriented towards improved health system performance.

Fatusi also advised public health practitioners in the country to position themselves as topmost advocates for improved health development.

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