Bayelsa State government has advocated the need to pay more attention to the primary healthcare system towards ensuring an effective and efficient management of disease control and public health.
Governor Douye Diri made the assertion at weekend while receiving a report from the Ad-hoc Committee on Funding Challenges and other related issues of the Bayelsa State Primary Healthcare Development Board.
Represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor described primary healthcare as the gateway to a vibrant healthcare system.
Senator Diri, who decried the long neglect of the primary healthcare system in the country, noted that the COVID-19 challenge would not have become an alarming pandemic if government had paid adequate attention to that health sub-sector.
While commending members of the ad-hoc committee for the report, he expressed optimism that the implementation of the report would in no small measure help in addressing majority of the health challenges facing the state.
His words: “The basic truth is that all the health challenges that we have in this world over 70 to 80% are adjustable with primary healthcare.
“So, if we have an effective primary health care system, then we will also have an effective disease control and management system. The primary healthcare is the gateway to the entire health system.
“If we had deployed primary healthcare effectively in this country and even across the world, we wouldn’t have gotten to this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are into now.
“So, you find out that it is a failure or lack of emphasis on primary healthcare that has taken us to where we are now.”
Senator Diri also stressed the need to provide health workers with personal protective equipment at the community level to enable them provide other services such as immunization in the midst of the COVID-19 infection.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee of the state Primary Healthcare Development Board, Comrade Gowon Toruyouyei, said the 17- member committee made some findings as well as short and long term recommendations towards moving the sector forward.
Comrade Toruyouyei also noted that the committee among other recommendations, urged the state government to amend the Primary Healthcare Development Board Law 2018 with inputs from critical stakeholders to address the ambiguity in the funding structure.
Mr Doubara Atasi
SSA, Media to the Deputy Governor, Bayelsa State