The Rivers State Government says its commitment to provide access to quality health care for its citizenry is beyond the call of office.
The State Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo stated this during an advocacy visit to her by the State Ministry of Health, USAID-HFG and the Rivers State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDs at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Dr. Banigo said, “Governor Wike is a health-friendly Governor who wants to see that quality health care is affordable to all that is why adequate health financing provisions were made in the 2018 budget.”
According to her, the New Rivers Vision is aimed at arresting the decay and the decline the Wike led Administration met in 2015.
“Primary healthcare workers were on strike for more than a year, health centers were shut down, routine immunization coverage was at its lowest ebb, it was a total disaster but today the story is different the all the primary health care centres are functional, the General Hospitals are undergoing total renovation”. She stressed,
Health Commissioner Prof. Princewill Chike said Health Insurance has proven to be a more sustainable form of healthcare financing, stressing that the State has developed a draft bill which is presently before the State Executive Council awaiting approval to be sent to the State House of Assembly.
Also speaking the Chief of Party, USAID/HFG Project, Nigeria Dr. Gafar Alawode said two effective approaches to foster the sustainability of health programmes and prevent gaps in health services are the implementation of the state health insurance scheme and ensuring the availability of funds for HIV/AIDs control in the State through the relevant MDAs.
In his remarks, the Programme Manager of the Rivers State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDs Dr. Francis Naziga said his Agency was established in May 2009 with the mandate of coordinating all HIV/AIDs response in the State.
He said presently there are 88 HIV/AIDS treatment sites in the State compared to 5 in 2010, while 24,523 adults are on Antiretroviral Therapy.
Dr. Francis Naziga also disclosed that there are 116 sites for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV as compared to 6 sites in 2010, similarly, there are also 116 sites for HIV Counselling and Testing as compared to 11 in 2010.