Bight Newspaper reports that Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has called on the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government to prioritize the development of human resources in the health sector in its Renewed Hope Agenda.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo made the call on Thursday while granting audience to a delegation from the National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria led by its national Deputy President, Venerable Dr Nengi Brown, in Government House, Yenagoa.

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor opined that what the country currently needed most is concerted investment in building a critical mass of health and medical practitioners to run the health system.

It will be recalled that President Tinubu on Tuesday while launching the Health Sector Renewal Compact on the sidelines of the Universal Health Coverage Day celebrations in Abuja, announced his administration’s commitment to revamping the health sector by tackling infrastructure issues.

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Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who represented Governor Douye Diri at the Abuja event, however, maintained that efforts to revamp the health sector by paying skewed attention to building more health infrastructure at the expense of the human capital driving the sector would achieve little or nothing.

Identifying human resources and nutrition as key components of any virile health system, he urged the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, to take care of these telling needs in implementing the National Health Act.

His words: My advocacy to the Minister of Health and the President is that, we should not take health infrastructure as a priority in the Renewed Hope Agenda for health. That shouldn’t be our focus.

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“And I have said time without number that if we must get health right, we must go for the human resources because when the health workers are available and present in the various communities, healthcare will become more efficient and affordable.

“I believe we can achieve much if we build the human resources we need to run our health system with the level of health infrastructure we have on ground. Building infrastructures without the people to man them does not make any sense to me.

“I’m also one of those who believe that nutrition is a key component of health that we have neglected in this country over the years. And for us to get it right, we must take nutrition seriously. You cannot give vaccine to a malnourished child.

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While thanking the Association for their prayers and support to the Governor Diri-led Administration, the Bayelsa Deputy Governor equally urged them to avoid mudslinging and strive for professionalism to carve a respectable niche for themselves.

Earlier, the National Deputy President, National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr Nengi Brown, congratulated Governor Douye Diri and his deputy on their well deserved victory in the November 11 governorship election.

Dr Brown appreciated Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who he described as one of their own, for making them proud in office and solicited his continued support to the Association.

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