By Adeola Badru
GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, at the weekend, said his administration took the opportunity of the novel Coronavirus pandemic to strengthen the state’s health care facilities.
The governor made this known at the commissioning of the upgraded Agbami Isolation Centre, Jericho, Ibadan.
Makinde, while berating the previous administration’s non-commitment to enhanced health care facilities in the state, recalled that the facility was commissioned at the twilight of the immediate-past administration without adequately equipped.
The governor maintained that contracting the virus was not a death sentence as many might have perceived, adding that, it was not something to be ashamed of.
His words: “I battled COVID-19, so it is not a death sentence and it is not something to be ashamed of. The virus is here with us and it will be here for some times to come; it is not going to disappear two or three from now, so we have to learn to live with it. So, if any of us is sick, we have the facilities, we have taken the opportunity of COVID-19 to strengthen our health care facilities.
“This facility was commissioned at the twilight of the last administration. Before we came in, it was a Tuberculosis (TB) Centre at that, we didn’t know that there will be COVID-19 pandemic, but here we are dealing with COVID-19.”
“Before the naysayers will go to town and say again Seyi Makinde is commissioning something they did, well we give you credit for putting this together even though it was commissioned when it wasn’t ready. I came here and went inside, there was nothing, absolutely nothing inside.
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“Now because we have the pandemic in our hand and we also have high earned individuals in Oyo State that are not comfortable going to Olodo because they want individual room and privacy.”
“For those individuals, we know some of you have aged parents at home and because we have to give concession for such individuals to self isolate at home and monitor them, now we don’t have to do much of that anymore.”
“With facilities here, you can self isolate privately, just drive-in, we will give you the treatment and we will ensure that you don’t infect others, once you have properly manage you will go back to various homes.”
“So, if COVID-19 is no longer here our facilities will remain, we will maintain them, it is no big deal that anyone tested positive to COVID-19. You don’t need to go and hide at private hospitals where they don’t really have the facilities and also the resources, the personnel to ensure that you access to adequate care.”
“This has been upgraded now, we have oxygen concentrator here, you will get the type of care that you truly deserved. If you look at where we are coming from it is a really challenging environment because when we started the year we had high hope but now we have to sheave off almost 35 percent of our budget for the year simply because we are facing the pandemic and we are also facing the economic meltdown, but in spite off all of that with the support of the good people of Oyo State we have been able to keep moving on,” stated.
The governor, however, told his teeming supporters not to indulge in praise-singing his government alone, but criticise him constructively, when the need arose.
“We did not take that support for granted, keep criticizing us, this criticism you are doing, let it be constructive criticism.”
“Anything we are doing and you think we can do better bring it up and we will make a necessary action.”
He extended appreciation to the health workers in the state, having been in the front line of the battle.
“And finally I want to thank the health workers in Oyo State because you are in the front line in this battle. You had to work with facilities that are not up to standard but we have been partners in progress to lifting up our health care delivery system in Oyo State.”
“I want to thank you and I also want to implore you to please, do not relent, we will do it together and together we will defeat COVID-19,” Makinde said.