In a proactive move to prepare for the planned COVID-19 vaccines promised by the Federal Government, Ekiti State has acquired 187 solar powered cold chain refrigerators for vaccine storage for its primary healthcare centers in the 177 wards of the state.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi who restated the commitment of his administration to further improve healthcare delivery in the state, also set aside N300 million for the State’s Basic Health Care Provision Fund.
The Governor made this known on Tuesday at the commissioning of the Solar Direct Drive Cold Chain equipment at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ado-Ekiti.
The Governor stressed the need for every child and pregnant woman in the state to have unhindered access to immunization in its continued effort at repositioning the health sector and making qualitative health services available and accessible to the people.
Dr Fayemi assured the people that his administration is already working towards reversing the appalling trend of high negative health data by putting mechanisms in place for sustainability through the State Health Insurance Scheme in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
The Governor disclosed that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund was another strategy employed by his administration for funding infrastructural, personnel, health commodities and equipment requirements of a minimum of one health facility in each of the 177 political Wards in the state.
He explained that the Cold Chain equipment means a well-coordinated effort towards achieving temperature controlled environments to store, manage and transport the lifesaving products (otherwise known as vaccines) which must be continuously stored in limited temperature from the time they are manufactured until the moment of vaccination.
Dr Fayemi noted further that the effort would boost Cold Chain System management and facilitate uninterrupted availability and distribution of vaccines in their optimal storage temperature and quality that will enhance immunization activities towards curbing preventable deaths and attainment of health for all.
He added that the ideal of immunization is to ensure that no child less than five years or pregnant woman is left out of vaccination processes to improve the neonatal, infant and maternal health indices.
The Governor expressed his appreciation to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency for the strong partnerships and collaborative efforts with Ekiti State which led to the various achievements in health and high Immunization coverage especially the well-rated yellow fever mass preventive vaccination held in January 2020, among other milestones.
“The ideal of immunization is to ensure that no child less than five years or pregnant woman is left out of vaccination processes in our efforts to improve the neonatal, infant and maternal health indices.
“The average National figures of maternal mortality ratio of 512/1000, infant mortality of 67/100,000 and Under five years old mortality of 132/100,000 are unacceptable to us in Ekiti State, hence our intent for all of these investments in health services to improve the maternal and child mortality ratios which had hitherto suffered a set-back immediately after our first administration.
“We intend to reverse the abysmal trend of our health data in the remaining years of this administration as we have put mechanisms in place for sustainability through the State Health Insurance Scheme which we launched on 10th July, 2020 in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
“Our State Health Insurance Scheme is a process that ensures that people have access to needed preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services that will be effective and of sufficient quality, while also ensuring that people do not suffer financial hardship when paying for these services.
“The Basic Health Care Provision Fund is yet another strategy employed by our administration for funding infrastructural, personnel, health commodities and equipment requirements of one health facility per Political Ward. With over N300,000,000.00 set aside, 177 health facilities in all the Wards have been selected to benefit from the fund and the money has been disbursed to the State Account for commencement of the programme in the first quarter of this 2021.
“I salute our front line health workers and the generality of health personnel for their various roles of saving lives of our dear people. Your efforts at this critical period of COVID-19 pandemic are commendable and may God reward your good deeds to the State and its people.
The Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani, commended the Governor for all his efforts aimed at repositioning the health sector for effective and efficient service delivery.
The commissioner promised that he would ensure that all the equipment provided at both the primary and secondary health sector were used with utmost care judiciously.
Present at the event were the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; Commissioner for Local and Government, Prof Adio Folayan; Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi; Chairman, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Chief (Mrs) Monisola Oloro; ALGON Chairman, Hon. Kola Amire and representatives of WHO, UNICEF and National Primary Health Care Development Agency.