Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
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 and set up a 12-man consultative committee on health to implement this agenda.
The governors also vowed to ensure that maternal and child mortality, disease outbreak and poor response to immunisation occasioned by inadequate primary, secondary and tertiary health care delivery systems are totally stamped out in the area.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu spoke as the South-east 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 the body would harmonise health-related issues in the zone.
Ugwuanyi said the committee would also create a multi-sectoral platform in improving health outcomes in the zone.
He said the forum would harness and mobilise abundant private resources to complement government budgetary allocations towards public health improvement.
The governor said the forum was desirous of optimising health service delivery and overall well-being 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.
In his speech, the Director General of the forum, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, described the inauguration of the committee as ‘a dream come through’.
Ortuanya said 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 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 added.
Ortuanya said th essence was to provide health interventions in the health sector.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr. Frank Ezugwu, said the tasks before them were daunting.
Ezugwu said they would rely on their God-given wisdom and talents to navigate through whatever challenges that they faced.
“The task before us is challenging but with our collective resolve we will surmount them,” he said.