WOLE BALOHUN, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has received a cheque of $120,000 on behalf of the state at the launch of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan and distribution of cheques to high- performing states under the Saving 1m Lives programme of the Ministry of Health.
The governor received the financial encouragement from the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole in Abuja on Tuesday, January 8.
Ekiti got the cheque alongside other states in the federation as encouragement for emerging one of the best-performing states in developing and funding the health sector to meet the demands of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan.
The demands according to Prof Adewole included five strategic pillars and 15 priority areas, which were enabling environment for attainment of health sector goals and increased utilisation of essential package of health services.
Others were strengthening the health system and protection from health emergencies as well as health financing.
Speaking about factors that earned Ekiti the reward, the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, in Ido Osi Local Government Area of the state, Dr. Adekunle Ajayi, said it was due to admirable performance of the state government in providing affordable primary healthcare services to the grassroots and the confidence President Muhammadu Buhari reposed in Governor John Kayode Fayemi that he would put the resources to judicious use.
Ajayi also explained that the National Strategic Development Health plan is an initiative of the President Buhari’s led administration to ensure that quality and affordable primary healthcare is provided for Nigerians at the grassroots and also to ensure that 10,000 primary healthcare centres are built in every ward in the federation with a view to taking basic primary healthcare services at affordable prices to the doorsteps of the poorest of the poor.
His words: “For the federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with state government and development partners to see that health indices increase in Nigeria, they have approached it with very novel strategy which ensures that the poorest of the poor have access to quality and affordable primary healthcare services. Given this provision, “my expectations are that Nigerians will have access to quality and affordable healthcare facilities and platforms and that out-of- pocket expenditure on health by Nigerians will reduce significantly and that universal health coverage will increase the poorest of the poor in Nigeria.
“We have had a situation where the 70 percent of the population pays heavily for primary healthcare. With the intervention of the Federal government in form of the National Strategic Health Development Plan, the challenge of getting basic primary healthcare to the poorest of the poor is been surmounted; it also means that money will now be available to improve facilities especially the basic health care facilities across the nation,” he said.