The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has commended the revamp of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Edo State, noting that such reforms will allow for proper referral system as a catalyst to develop the health system in the country.
Adewole said this while delivering his keynote address at the 2018 Alagodaro Summit in Benin City, organised by Edo State Government to celebrate the second anniversary of the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
He commended the Obaseki-led administration for focusing on health care, pledging the commitment of the federal government in ensuring that the state achieves her aim of having 200 primary health centres in the state by the year 2020.
Adewole, while buttressing the importance of PHCs to the society, decried that their nonfunctional status has overstretched the general and teaching hospitals which are meant for complicated ailments.
The health minister advised the state government that as it revamps the health centres, attention must also be given to preventive medicine, especially on provision of safe water in communities as well as sensitisation on proper hygiene.
According to him, "We spend a lot of money in curative treatment when our problem is at preventive state. We need to change the paradigm and put emphasis on preventive care, health education as well as improving our way of life."
He added that health care system must move beyond just care, and involve a comprehensive care.
"PHC is closer to the people, and if properly invested in, it would provide care for 80 percent of the people while 10 percent would go to secondary and less than 10 percent would go to tertiary health care centres," he said.
The health minister said countries around the world that have recorded improvement in their socio-economic sectors are those that have improved their health indicators.
He commended the Obaseki-led administration for investing in the health sector, assuring him that the return on investment for the health care would be huge.
Adewole also drew attention to the population explosion in the country especially as majority of the population falls below the working age.
The minister congratulated the state for having the highest rate of skilled birth attendant which he said has reduced maternal and infant deaths.