By Segun Awofadeji
The Gombe State Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya has inaugurated two committees, which are expected to strengthen the health system and ensure a departure from the poor health indices in the state.
The first committee, Task Force on Immunization, headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Manasseh Daniel Jatau, is expected to ensure that all children in the state are immunized against preventable diseases associated with child morbidity and mortality.
The second committee, Basic Health Care Provision/Funds Steering committee, is expected to ensure the provision of adequate and sustainable funding that will efficiently and equitably reduce and provide quality health care services to the most vulnerable members of the society through the provision of basic minimum package health services and emergency treatment.
While inaugurating the committees Thursday, Governor Yahaya said it was part of the administration’s commitment towards improving the wellbeing of the people of the state through better health services and infrastructural facilities for the socioeconomic development of the state.
Responding on behalf of the committees, the Deputy Governor, Jatau, assured the governor of their readiness to put in their best in the assignment, promising that unlike in the past, they would go into every nook and cranny of the state to supervise the immunization activities.
Officials of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had recently told the governor that the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) had shown that the health indices of the state were poor and among the worst in the country.
The Bauchi Field Officer of UNICEF, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, had advised the governor to among others, establish sustainable system for uninterrupted provision of essential health commodities, employ more nurses and midwives to ensure that there is at least one skilled birth attendant in every ward in the state if early deaths must be prevented.
The governor was also told to treat as an emergency, the approval and release of N6 million for the repairs of 30 solar refrigerators in 30 facilities, N300,000 for fixing of shelves in the state’s old cold store as well as the release of N15.1 million for the completion and rehabilitation work on the cold store.
The former Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo had approved the sum of N15.1 million for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated cold store after several advocacy visits but funds are yet to be released.