Obaseki pledges sustained investment in healthcare as WHO lauds governor’s COVID-19 response
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has been applauded by the World Health Organisation for his administration’s systematic and proactive response to the second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state, keeping an effective check on the spread of the pandemic and ensuring the safety of residents.
WHO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo, gave the commendation when he paid a courtesy to the governor at the Government House, Benin City.
Receiving the WHO delegation, the governor reassured that his administration will continue to prioritize the health of residents and ensure the provision of quality and affordable healthcare services to the people.
The governor noted: “COVID-19 revealed a lot to us; I personally did not realize how broken our healthcare system in Nigeria was until the advent of COVID-19.
“I decided to chair the COVID-19 Response Team and my deputy, Philip Shaibu chaired the technical sub-committee. That gave us direct access to the healthcare system, even though we had started some reforms; we knew that we had to fix the system.
“We were restructuring the primary healthcare system, putting a new management structure in place but didn’t know that the substructure on which we were laying these reforms were weak.
“For us, COVID-19 was the opportunity to interact directly with the system. That was how we built capacity within government to help regulate and stabilize the healthcare system.”
On his part, the WHO representative stated: “I want to congratulate you for your successful re-election; it is a testimony that you are impacting the lives of the people of Edo.
“I want to commend you for your approach in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. I am sure that other states would be looking at the way you have been driving the health agenda in the state. I have also been following up with the way that you have been leading the COVID-19 response in your state.”
He continued: “Your Excellency, we know some of your agenda; we know that you are looking towards improving secondary and primary healthcare, among others. So, I am here today with my colleagues to support your agenda.
“COVID-19 outbreak has offered us an opportunity to better prepare for future pandemics, particularly the way that we invest in our healthcare and make sure that our health system can detect emergencies as soon as possible.”
Mulombo further pleaded the support of the governor in accelerating the process of COVID-19 vaccination, particularly among frontline healthcare workers and elderly.