Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has stressed the need to pay more attention to the primary healthcare system towards ensuring effective and efficient management of disease control and public health.
This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Yenagoa by Mr. Doubara Atasi, the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
The statement quoted Gov. Douye Diri as making stating this while receiving a report from the ad-hoc committee on funding challenges and other related issues of the state Primary Healthcare Development Board.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, described primary healthcare as the gateway to a vibrant healthcare system.
While decrying the long neglect of the primary healthcare system in the country, he noted that the COVID-19 challenge would not have become so alarming if the government had paid adequate attention to the health sector.
Diri commended members of the ad-hoc committee for the report, expressing optimism that the implementation of the report would, in no small measure, help in addressing some of the major challenges facing the health sector in the state.
”The basic truth is that more than 80 percent of all the health challenges that we have in this world are adjustable with primary healthcare.
“So if we have an effective primary healthcare system, then we will also have an effective disease control and management system.
“The primary healthcare is the gateway to the entire health system.
“If we had deployed primary healthcare effectively in this country and even across the world, we wouldn’t have gotten to this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is, therefore, failure or lack of emphasis on primary healthcare that has taken us to where we are now,” he said.
Diri also stressed the need to provide health workers with personal protective equipment at the community level to enable them to provide immunization and other services in the midst of the COVID-19 infection.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Mr. Gowon Toruyouyei, said the 17-member committee made some findings, with some short and long term recommendations towards moving the sector forward.
Toruyouyei also noted that the committee, among other recommendations, urged the state government to amend the Primary Healthcare Development Board Law, 2018, with inputs from critical stakeholders to address the ambiguity in the funding structure.