Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State declared free malaria treatment for children under five years, pregnant women, and the elderly in the state, saying that pregnant women would also benefit from free delivery services.
He said that the free treatments would be enjoyed in all the 177 primary health care centres across the state under ‘Ulera Wa Scheme.’
The governor made this known in Ado Ekiti while commissioning the Okesa Comprehensive Health Centre as part of activities marking the first anniversary of his administration.
He stated that the welfare and well-being of the citizens remain a top priority of his government, adding that he would not leave anyone behind in the provision of quality health services, especially for children under five years of age.
He stated that his administration had more than ever before, allocated more resources to both secondary and tertiary health institutions in the state, having approved an aggressive and immediate renovation of those facilities in the state.
On welfare, the governor hinted that health workers in the state have started enjoying hazard allowance and other benefits since March 2023, just as his government has given approval for the Hospitals Management Board to fill consequential vacancies occasioned by the retirement of various cadres of the workforce to allow for effectiveness and efficiency of the sector.
He said he had promised the people of the state during his electioneering campaign that he would make healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone, especially, the vulnerable populace, adding that he would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the people live a good and healthy life.
He said the Primary Health Centre is the gateway to any healthcare delivery, adding that that was the reason he had joined hands with his siblings to build a maternity facility in Aramoko Ekiti General Hospital in memory of their late mother, due for commissioning later in the year.
He stated: “I am here this evening to commission this newly equipped facility which was built through the effort of the Response Resources Mobilization Committee (RRMC) in collaboration with the Ekiti State government.
“This administration has now equipped this facility to ensure it serves our people. You will agree with me that the health of Ekiti citizens takes the front burner in the programmes and policies of our administration. We are living up to our determination and promise not to leave anyone behind in matters of health service delivery.
“Our commitment to ensuring universal health coverage is daily yielding impressive results, as the state’s flagship health insurance programme known as ‘Ulera wa’ has become accessible in 177 health facilities in the state, fully covering children under age five as well as some people with disability.
“With Ulera wa, no woman should have to pay for delivery at any of our PHCs in Ekiti state. To ensure services are available at the point of use, we have in addition to this facility committed resources to our secondary health facilities as well. Our tertiary health facility, EKSUTH. It is currently being worked upon to make sure that our critical infrastructure is well maintained to provide comfort, quality and safe healthcare for our clients.
“In addition to this, the welfare of healthcare workers in the state has been prioritized, this administration has approved the payment of hazard allowance for health workers in the state public service. Health workers have enjoyed the implementation of hazard allowance since March 2023.
“Also in a bid to improve the human capital development in the health sector, government approves the recruitment of health workers for HMB to fill the consequential vacancies gap and to provide effective and efficient medical services to our citizenry.
“This administration has also approved the introduction of parity payment for health workers in the state. This is with a view to improving health workers’ motivation and to me, this is a campaign promise I made to you.”
Earlier the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Oyebanji Filani commended the Governor for the various motivation he had given health workers in the state by increasing their salaries and granting them hazard allowance.
The commissioner noted that the importance of a Comprehensive Health Centre cannot be underestimated as it is the gateway to any effective and efficient healthcare facilities as he stressed the need to provide all necessary requirements to deliver good quality services for the people at this level.