Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dr. Ememabasi Bassey and revamping in the health sector

Dr. Ememabasi Bassey and revamping in the health sector

Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism.
    In humans, it is the general condition of a person’s mind and body, usually to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in “good health” or “healthy”).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease of infirmity.

Systematic activities to prevent or cure health problems and promote good health in humans are undertaken by health care providers.
In Akwa Ibom State, the health sector has been tremendously reformed and there has been a ray of hope as far as the health of citizens of the state is concerned.  This is made possible through the pragmatic leadership of Dr. EmemAbasi Bassey, the honourable commissioner for health in Akwa Ibom State.

Having been appointed by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Dr. Godswill Akpabio to man the health sector in the state, Dr. Bassey has been working assiduously to ensure that Akwa Ibom State is rated high in healthy living.  He did this through the implementation of several health programmes and health awareness campaigns that awakened the consciousness of Akwa Ibom citizens to the importance of good health.

The present government has invested heavily to revamp and restructure the health sector in order to make healthcare delivery not only accessible but also affordable for every Akwa Ibom person.  This is done by providing free healthcare for children of five years and below, pregnant women and the elderly.

Employment of medical personnel in the system helped in availability of manpower to ensure prompt health care services to persons who need medical attentions. 

To further boost efforts at making the health care delivery system in the state strong and reliable, government embarked on high immunization coverage to eradicate polio and all other childhood killer diseases, provision of counterpart funding for all health programmes by donor organization like UNICEF, UNFPA, Operation Roll Back Malaria and HIV/AIDS World Bank Assisted programme. 

In 2014, we were all aware and afraid of the most dreaded Ebola virus disease that sent panic across the country and beyond, there were news making the rounds that Ebola was in the neighbouring states like Port Harcourt and some persons had started making calculations of the mayhem the disease may cause, should in case it gets to Akwa Ibom State.  But to God be the Glory, the honourable commissioner for health did not just sit down and watch the diseases come in to the state to destroy us like the plague that destroyed the Egyptians in the land of Egypt, but with the support of our indefatigable Governor, Chief Dr. Godswill Obot Akpabio, he made it a matter of personal concern to ensure that the dreaded Ebola virus did not visit Akwa Ibom State.  He made available some personal protective equipments as well as making sure that intensive screening exercise are conducted in most organizations, schools and even at the Airport to ensure that people who came into the state through flight were ebola-free, to avoid contact and spread of the virus in the state.

To boost maternal and child health in the state, the Ministry of health organized maternal, newborn and child health awareness campaign which was aimed at delivering a package of high impact, low cost child survival interventions including immunization against childhood illness, Vitamin ‘A’ supplementation, birth registration, deworming, ante-natal care, HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, screening of children to exclude malnutrition, hand-washing and health education on key family practices.  

In a bid to bring health care service closer to the people the health boss made provision for a well equipped mobile clinic service scheme which was used to  monitor and also boost routine immunization, nutrition supplementation and maternal and child care services.  The Mobile Clinic Service Scheme ensures improved service delivery coverage as women and children in the market squares, homes, schools, villages, churches etc now have health care services which is not limited to only the national immunization days.

    Akwa Ibom health sector was brought to the fore through the hosting of other states of the federation on the 57th National council on health.  The weeklong event which took place at Ibom Hall, was said to be the oldest council meeting in the country since the colonial era. It was an event which attracted some key players in the health sector in Nigeria, such as the Minister for health, Chairman, Senate Committee on health, Chairman, committee on health in the Federal House of Representatives and others to Akwa Ibom State.   This event would not have taken place in the state if the honourable commissioner of health, Dr. EmemAbasi Bassey as well as His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio did not work hard to bring the state to limelight as far as health care services are concerned.

I strongly believe that with the achievements recorded so far in the health sector of the state, this year 2015 will not be an exception, and I look forward to the day when, for all the time, the fear of ill-health will be removed from our state by the availability of health services that are accessible, affordable and acceptable in Akwa Ibom State.

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