By Festus Ahon
DELTA State Health Contributory Commission, DSHC, in collaboration with a Pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, Monday commissioned three Diabetes and Hypertension clinic in Obior, Polobubo and Okporoza, in Aniocha North, Warri North and Warri South Local Government Areas of the State respectively.
Speaking at Obior Health facility, Chairman of the DSHC, Dr Isaac Akpoveta said the clinics were private-public partnership initiative in ensuring that people at the rural areas get access to quality healthcare service.
Akpoveta said, “Our commission is very concern of people in the rural area to ensure that the people are healthy to produce the food for the nation. It is a PPP arrangement with SANOFI pharmaceutical company and the service is free of charge.
“Diabetes and hypertension are sicknesses that silently killed. When you have too much sugar in your blood, it destroys all the vital organs in your body, and hypertension is off course causes stroke and once you have a stroke, your life will never be the same”.
The Director-General, DSCH, Dr Ben Nkechika told the people to get enrolled in the State Health Insurance scheme free of charge and take advantage of the clinics to cater to their health needs. Former Deputy Governor of the State, Chief Benjamin Elue pledged that the people would own and protect the facilities.
The General Manager, Nigeria and Ghana Country lead, Nigeria, Folake Odediran, who also spoke at the ceremony, said Sanofi entered into a memorandum
of understanding, MOU, a year ago to jointly address the rising burden of diabetes and hypertension in the State.
Odediran said: “under the partnership, both parties set common goals to implement end-to-end healthcare initiatives to support patients in their health journeys. We set out to promote disease awareness and patient education across the state, train 400 healthcare workers, establish diabetes and hypertension clinics, support people living with diabetes, and provide quality affordable medicines for patients.
“The Commission and Sanofi have since been working tirelessly to achieve these common goals. Therefore, it is a great privilege for me, and a humbling experience too, to see us successfully commission the Diabetes and Hypertension Clinics, DHC project in Delta State today.
“The increasing burden of diabetes and hypertension is a major public health concern. This is because these diseases are not just health problems but also a development challenge as they impact the quality of life, undercut productivity and force many people and families into poverty due to catastrophic expenditures on treatment. Gaps exist in health care systems.
“The DHC project is one of several healthcare initiatives under our partnership with the Commission. It aims to bring healthcare closer to the people and thereby eliminate some barriers which prevent people from accessing healthcare.
“The DHC is a centre of excellence dedicated to supporting people living with diabetes and hypertension most especially at the primary level of care and in hard-to-reach communities.
DHCs are well equipped, with the health workers well trained, to effectively manage diabetes and hypertension at primary care level and to refer patients when necessary”.