…Says Govt To Set Up Special Taskforce For Aggressive Immunization


Bight Newspaper reports that Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has charged the state Primary Healthcare Board (BSPHCB) to seek alternative sources of funding to complement the financial support from the state government and the local councils to achieve set goals in the primary health subsector.

The Deputy Governor gave the charge when the Chairman, Executive Secretary, Dr William Appah, and members of the Board paid a courtesy visit to his office in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

To achieve its objectives of efficient primary healthcare delivery to the people, he said it was expedient for the Board to solicit funding support from the multinational oil companies operating in the state, including Shell, Agip, Aiteo, Conoil and several others.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who disclosed that the state’s community health insurance is now part of the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS), made a case for pyramid funding to enable the primary health subsector, which occupies the bottom rung of the health system enjoy better resource allocation.

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He argued that primary healthcare requires more funding and human resources to run effectively, stressing that its inefficiency largely accounts for the plethora of cases being handled at the secondary and tertiary levels of the health management system in the country.

Speaking further, the Deputy Governor disclosed that government would soon set up a special taskforce to move to every part of the state to identify and immunize children who are yet to receive immunization, particularly in remote parts of the state.

To this end, he directed the Board to deploy a greater number of the six water ambulances donated recently to the state government by UNICEFand GAVI Foundation to operate in predominantly riverine local government areas of the state.

His words: “We appreciate the efforts of your board towards improved primary healthcare service delivery in the state. But to be more effective, the board should deploy the six water ambulances donated by the UNICEF to predominantly riverine areas of the state

“In the area of funding, we really want you to think outside the box to source for funds from the international oil companies operating in the state. They should contribute to your funding as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to complement what comes from the state and the local governments.

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“While we are looking at the issues of recruitment of primary healthcare personnel, renovation of dilapidated health centers, we will (also) soon set up a special taskforce to identify and immunize the 20,000 children whom the UNICEF reported had not been immunized in the state.”

Delivering his address, the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Primary Healthcare Board (BSPHCB), Dr. Markson Amaegbe-Tamuno, requested government to approve the recruitment of more health workers to be deployed to the grossly understaffed health centers across the state.

Dr. Amaegbe also appealed for the renovation of some dilapidated health centers, provision of a more befitting office for the board, and the constitution of the local government primary healthcare authorities.

In another development, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo has directed the eight local government chairmen in the state to immediately commence the preparation of their annual budgets covering May to December, 2024.

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He gave the directive while presiding over a meeting with the council chairmen and their Rural Development Authorities (RDA) counterparts at his office in Government House, Yenagoa

Highlighting the importance of initiating the budgetary processes in line with relevant laws on financial accountability, public procurement and due process, the Deputy Governor stressed the need for councils to deliver capital projects to complement the development efforts of the state government.

He, therefore, called on the chairmen to work closely with their respective legislative arms to ensure that their appropriation bills are presented by the end of this month for speedy passage and implementation.

The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo in a photograph with the Executive Secretary of the Bayelsa State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Williams Appah and members of the Board in Government House during the courtesy visit. 

Senator Ewhrudjakpo equally directed the local government chairmen to collaborate with the RDA chairmen in their respective areas to inaugurate capital projects already completed in the various rural development areas.

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