Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said his administration since inception has concentrated on enlarging the frontiers of the health sector at ensuring that quality healthcare delivery was made accessible to all residents of the state.
Speaking in his office in Akure, the state capital, while playing host to a team of Medical Practitioners based in Canada, 4breathe4life, who are on Medical Mission to the state, Governor Akeredolu said the various policies and programmes of his administration have scaled-up accessibility to better healthcare for citizens of the state.
While acknowledging the efforts of his predecessor in the realm of care for Mother and Child, governor Akeredolu said the present administration has not only increased the number of Mother and Child Hospitals from the two facilities in Akure and Ondo within the Central Senatorial District to all the General Hospitals in the State but has equally integrated the concept of the hospital into virtually all government health facilities with the provision of state of the art medical equipment.
Free medical care
Governor Akeredolu, while adding that the Health Insurance Policy of the State Government is providing free medical care for children from age zero to five and the vulnerable within the population, stated that the multiplier effects of the state health policy has brought about drastic reduction in infant and maternal mortality rate.
The governor commended the initiative of the Non-governmental Organization, 4breathe4life Medical Team and promised that the State Government would continue to cooperate with all credible organizations at improving healthcare delivery in the state.
He explained that quality healthcare cannot be solely funded by government in view of several competing needs and low level of resources accruing to it.
Neonatal mortality rate
The leader of 4breathe4life Medical Team, Dr Olumide Oyefeso described neonatal mortality rate in Nigeria as the third highest in the world with about 700 deaths per day while maternal death rate in Nigeria is second highest in the world.
Dr Oyefeso said the unacceptable death ratios motivated his team to regularly come to Nigeria to train critical health givers on the safest means of delivery at birth which he called Helping Babies to Breathe Model.
He used the opportunity to acknowledge the commitment of Governor Akeredolu and described the drivers of the State Health Policy as highly competent and dedicated.
Dr Oyefeso informed that his team would be in the state for three days during which 243 Health Providers would be trained on mode of helping babies to breathe upon delivery and also administer free health care to the public.
The Special Adviser to Governor on Health, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye said the geometric achievements of the present administration were consequent upon the unprecedented support and commitment of Governor Akeredolu to raise the bar of health care delivery in the state.
He said the present administration at inception met zero accreditation for residency training at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo having lost the three accreditations earlier secured for lack of quality infrastructures and huge debts on salaries leading to the exit of all consultants to the university.
The Special Adviser informed that all the challenges have been fixed by the State Governor with the payment of all outstanding salaries and allowances till date, employment of over 103 consultants and the establishment of multi-campus Teaching Hospital in Ondo and Akure, leading to the approval of 14 accreditations to train post-graduate Doctors by West African College of Surgeon.