Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called for increased collaboration among stakeholders in the health sector to attain universal health coverage, which will ensure that the people get the full spectrum of health service without incurring prohibitive costs.
The governor said this in commemoration of the World Health Day marked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organs of the United Nations every April 7.
The governor also noted that the state government intends to develop its sports sector to engage youths, create wealth and boost tourism, all of which are expected to impact positively on the state’s economy.
On the World Health Day, Obaseki said the theme for this year’s commemoration: Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere speaks to his administration’s resolve to ensure universal primary health insurance is available to Edo people, which he said, would ensure that the people have access and can afford basic healthcare services.
According to him, “In Edo State, we are committed to revamping the healthcare structures and our first focus is the primary health sector. For this, we have a plan to build and renovate about 500 primary healthcare centres. We also intend to build three super general hospitals in each senatorial district of the state. This is to provide the people with the requisite care they deserve and ensure we do not shortchange anyone.
“But in delivering on this mandate, we would need the support and cooperation of every stakeholder in the sector. Without this, our efforts wouldn’t be felt by the people.”
Noting that the state already has a bill to provide for the primary healthcare insurance scheme in the state, he said, “Our commitment to primary healthcare will be actualized through the instrumentality of the bill, which we hope will give our people the necessary access and other support structures to essential healthcare services.”
Meanwhile, the governor reiterated his commitment to sports development on the occasion of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace, marked every April 6, by the United Nations.
Obaseki said sports help the people to forge ties even as it presents opportunities for economic, social and cultural exchanges for societal harmony and development.
According to him, “We are committed to building the capacities of our people to actively participate in sports. Before now, we won numerous laurels in national sporting competitions. We intend to revive that spirit.
“We have started that with the rebranding of Bendel Insurance. We are already renovating the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and plan to build 20 stadia across the state. All these are geared towards restoring our lost glory and engaging our youths in productive activities.”