By Ayodeji Alabi
Akure – Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Tuesday stressed the importance of enlarging the frontiers of the health sector to ensure quality healthcare delivery to residents of the state.
Akeredolu made this known in Akure while hosting a team of medical practitioners from `4breathe4life’, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Canada.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team will be in the state for three days to train 243 health providers on the mode of helping babies to breathe upon delivery.
This would be in addition to administering free healthcare to the public.
The governor said that the various policies and programmes of his administration, since inception, had scaled up accessibility to better healthcare for citizens of the state.
While acknowledging the Mother and Child Healthcare efforts of his predecessor, Olusegun Mimiko, the governor said his administration had increased the number of Mother and Child hospitals.
“We had two Mother and Child hospitals in Akure and Ondo, both within the Central Senatorial District but it’s now in all the general hospitals with state-of-the -art medical equipment.
“Our Health Insurance Policy is also providing free medical care for the vulnerable and children from infants to five years.
“The multiplier effects of this policy have also brought about drastic reduction in infant and maternal mortality rate,’’ he said.
The governor commended the initiative of the NGO and promised to continue to cooperate with all credible organisations in improving healthcare delivery in the state.
“Quality healthcare cannot be solely funded by the government in view of several competing needs and low level of re.s,’’ he said
Earlier, Dr Olumide Oyefeso, the Leader of 4breathe4life Medical Team, said the ranking of Nigeria in neonatal mortality and maternal death rate respectively was unacceptable.
He explained that the unacceptable death ratio motivated his team to regularly visit Nigeria to train critical health givers on the safest means of birth delivery, which he called, ‘Helping Babies to Breathe Model’.
The team leader, who said he met Akeredolu in Canada in 2018, acknowledged the governor’s commitment to the health of the people of the state.
He described the drivers of the state’s health policy as highly competent and dedicated.
Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, said the present administration met zero accreditation for residency training at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, having lost the three accreditations earlier secured.
He explained that the accreditations were lost due to lack of quality infrastructure and huge debts on salaries, leading to the exit of all consultants to the university.
Adeyeye said that all the challenges had, however, been fixed, leading to approval of 14 accreditation to train post-graduate doctors by the West African College of Surgeons.