* Inaugurate 12-man committee
By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The governors of the five South-east states Thursday in Enugu reaffirmed their readiness to tackle the myriads of health-related challenges facing the people of the zone.
They vowed to ensure that before long such incidences of maternal and child mortality, disease outbreaks and poor response to immunisation occasioned by inadequate primary, secondary and tertiary health care delivery systems would be totally stamped out in the area.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu spoke as the Governors’ Forum inaugurated its Consultative Committee on Health as one of the thematic areas of priority for the development of the zone.
Represented by his deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, the governor, who inaugurated the 12-member committee on behalf of the forum, said that the body would harmonise health-related issues and activities in the zone.
Ugwuanyi said that the committee would also create a multi-sectoral platform in improving health outcomes in the zone.
He said that the forum would harness and mobilise abundant private resources to complement government budgetary allocations towards public health improvement.
The governor said that the forum was desirous of optimising health service delivery and overall wellbeing of the people of the area.
“This committee will serve as a medium for community level mobilisation and information dissemination on guidelines for achieving improved health outcomes and social wellbeing,” Ugwuanyi said.
The Director-General of the forum, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, described the inauguration of the committee as “a dream come through”.
Ortuanya said that the primary focus of the committee was to foster regional integration and economic development within the context of a united Nigeria.
He said that the committee would also seek partnership with international donor agencies.
“I am happy to say that we have kept faith with our mandate. We are working assiduously with our strategic partners DFID, south East Knowledge Hubs, the Bureau for Public Service Reforms and others,” he said.
He said that the event was an achievement of one of the thematic objectives of the Forum.
“Against the backdrop of health challenges facing our region, we reached out to eHealth Africa and they accepted to partner with us,” he said.
Ortuanya said that the whole essence was to provide health interventions in the health sector.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr. Frank Ezugwu, said that the tasks before them were daunting.
Ezugwu said that they would rely on their God-given wisdom and talents to navigate through whatever challenges they faced.
“The task before us is challenging but with our collective resolve we will surmount them,” he said.
The committee chairman said that the region was faced with poor health data, poor health seeking attitude and poor facilities but assured the governors that such would be surmounted with commitments.
“We will need your cooperation as we seek to improve the health of our people and God willing we will not fail, “ Ezugwu said.
The membership of the committee was drawn from the ministries of health in the five states of the region with all the commissioners of health as members.