The Bayelsa state government on Wednesday restated its commitment towards upgrading facilities at the Diete-Koki Memorial Hospital, Opolo and other health institutions to improve healthcare delivery in the state.
The state Deputy Governor, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the promise during his visit to hospitals, prisons and charitable organisations to celebrate his birthday with less privileged ones.
Some of the facilities visited include the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gloryland Motherless Children’s Home, Opolo and the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Okaka in Yenagoa.
Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, underscored the role quality healthcare would play in the prosperity agenda of the administration.
He noted that the former Governor, Chief Seriake Dickson did a lot in terms of building various health facilities, adding that the current administration would spare no effort in developing the health sector.
Ewhrudjakpo whose birthday was on Sept. 5, described his visit to the less privileged in society as a tradition he has kept over the years to mark his birthday.
He stressed on the need for better-placed members of society to always give a helping hand to the needy.
The deputy governor said he could not afford to throw flamboyant birthday celebrations in the midst of poverty and underdevelopment in the state.
Ewhrudjakpo was conducted round the various wards at the Diete Koki Hospital by the Head of Administration, Mr Felix Olomu.
He later gave cash gifts to in-patients for their treatment, and also promised to pay the bills for outpatients that visited the hospital on Wednesday.
“Every Christmas and on my birthday, I visit the hospitals and the children’s home to share what God has given us.
“Saturday was my birthday but due to my busy schedule, I could not make it till today, which is also significant because it is the birthday of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ.
“Today is a very symbolic day for me and I chose it for this visit, which is a tradition for me. I usually do it quietly but because my office has been elevated, so this visit has also been elevated.
“There is nothing to celebrate, when there is so much insecurity, poverty and underdevelopment.
“Until Nigeria overcomes these challenges to an appreciable level, which I believe should be the status of Nigeria, I don’t think I’ll celebrate. And I pray this happens sooner than later.
“As a government, we will make our efforts to improve these situations because that is the mandate given to us by the people.
“We will do the little we can to change things. We have started that good journey in Bayelsa State, through the Prosperity Government of Gov. Douye Diri. I believe we will get to the promised land,” he said.
At the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Okaka, the deputy governor was welcomed by the Controller of Correctional Services, Bayelsa Command, Mr Edhokotum Seth.
He urged the inmates not to despair, but aspire to be better citizens by working toward becoming more productive members of society after regaining their freedom.
At the Gloryland Children’s Home, Opolo where the deputy governor was received by the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs Faith Opene, he assured the children of a great and better future.
Ewhrudjakpo also visited the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa where he was conducted round the Special Babycare Unit and Surgical wards by the Chief Medical Director, Dr Dennis Alagoa, and other management staff.
High points of the visit was the cutting of the birthday cake at the Children’s Home as well as presentation of cash gifts to the various institutions. (NAN}