Determined to fulfill the campaign promises of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the Osun State government has continued to record impressive feats in the health sector.
According to the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu, restoration of healthy living among Osun people is one of the six integral action plans of the administration of Aregbesola, even as he said the administration has delivered on the promise and will continue to pursue the policy with all doggedness and commitment till the last day of the administration.
To ensure that the people enjoy stress-free health care, the state declared free health care services and in case of epidemics, it put some measures in place such as raising people’s awareness towards any possible disease outbreaks and by raising the capacity building of health workers.
“Our disease surveillance officers are always on their toes to look for any disease outbreak with adequate reports on weekly basis and emergency. In most cases, we have our PPE in place. Also, we carry out a weekly health talk on radio and TV on diseases of public health importance,” Dr. Isamotu said.
Realising that the grassroots is where health care delivery should be addressed first, the administration upgraded and renovated the nine state hospitals in 2013. O’Ambulance is another success story. The scheme was introduced in 2013 when 50 state-of-the-art ambulance vehicles were put on the road for medical emergencies; a scheme which has saved a lot of lives in situations of emergency.
In 2016, O’Ambulance saved 1,774 lives. Between January and March last year, it also saved 630 lives.
Dr Isamotu further explained that Primary Health Care Development Board was also established two years ago, with an Executive Secretary in place and the Board fully funded and functional, upgrading of tertiary health facility infrastructure involving the rehabilitation and equipping of State Tertiary Hospital (LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo) which is a capital project from 2011 to 2014. The project costs 1.7 billion, 28 existing primary health centres are also upgraded.
The administration also purchased 100 hand-held scanners in 2014 used to scan expectant women in PHCs and rural areas. Also in 2014, the state purchased four 3-D Doppler scanners given for LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, State Hospital Iwo, Ilesa and State Specialist Hospital Osogbo. State government supplied new medical equipment to 208 primary health centres.
Flag-off of Save-One-Million Lives Programme for Results (SOML PforR), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) MAMA KITS Distribution and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week in December last year was also effected during which Mama kit was distributed to expectant mothers. There’s an ongoing distribution of same in the health facilities.
Likewise, Public Private Partnership (PPP) which entails outsourcing of the pharmacy units of all health facilities in order to have regular availability of effective and safe drugs was explored last year. Thirty motorcycles were distributed to local government areas (LGAs) for effective surveillance and health data collection.
In order to create a sustainable health sector, having realised the damage the low funding the state is experiencing, the state created the Agency for Osun Health Insurance Scheme early this year. The establishment of the scheme aims to achieve universal health coverage and reduce out of pocket expenditure on health.
The Deputy Director, Health Planning Research and Statistics, Osun State, Dr. Adebisi Olalere Rafiu; and Director of Public Health, Dr. Adepoju Gbenga corroborated the commissioner’s statement.
Help from Diaspora
Pleased with the impact the state is making through its Health Ministry, a non-governmental organisation (NGO)- Klinikum Magdeburg Germany donated medical equipment worth over N200 million to the state in January this year.
Oranmiyan USA, donated medical equipment to the state in 2013. Oranmiyan Ireland did medical need assessment of all the nine state hospitals and renovated public toilet at state hospital, Ede in 2013. It equally had sourced for and promised to donate surgical instruments to the state which will arrive Osun before June. So also, Oranmiyan Canada has sourced and donated medical equipment to the state which will arrive in Osun before June.
Fifty state-of-the-art ambulance vehicles were procured and 400 paramedics employed. Establishment of Tuberculosis Control Laboratory in Ilesa West was accomplished. Nine primary health care facilities were refurbished and supplied with essential drugs to increase safe delivery by skilled birth attendants. Two modern drug warehouses were also constructed.
The administration was able to construct comprehensive Health Centres at Ogbaagbaa and Erin Ijesa/Erin – Oke. About 9, 320 and 8,664 people benefited from free eye medical care in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Osun State is on the verge of establishing Cancer Screening Programme in partnership with Klinikum Otto-Von-Guericke-Universitat, Magdeburg Germany. Two weeks ago, HCH was in Germany to finalise the matter. This will start on or before May 1.
The state government approved the payment of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for health workers. This was in 2012. Six health personnel, including doctors and nurses, were sent to Germany for professional training. There was free medical check-up for civil servants.
Director of Public Health, Dr. Adepoju said effective daily routine immunisation in all health facilities with coverage of 82 per cent with a prompt payment of counterpart funds is pursued by the state government. There are no more Poliomyelitis cases in the state due to effective and extensive immunisation initiatives.
Mass distribution of almost three million insecticide-treated nets to households with the support of Global Fund and National Malarial Control Office of the Ministry of Health was carried out. The state is working towards the elimination of malaria. Training of O-YES cadets as malaria combatant officers under Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) was carried out. The spraying of 300 houses under the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in the Malaria Control Programme in three pilot local government areas was also done. There was distribution of 4,000 insecticide-treated nets to expectant mothers and children and distribution of 26, 500 Act tablets to health facilities.
Periodic check-up for elders was introduced for the first time. Thirty-Three solar-powered boreholes and new 90 motorised boreholes were sunk for all health centres. We also introduced de-worming exercise for pupils under the elementary school feeding and health programme.
Osun State Agency for Control of AIDS (OSACA) has been adequately supported, Osun Government had spent a total sum of N52, 2007, 920).
Renovation of two isolation centres as part of our epidemic preparedness for any disease outbreak was carried out.
In the offing
Establishment of Osun State Health Facilities and Accreditation Commission Bill will soon be passed into law. Full computerisation of patients’ records in all our health facilities has already started last month.
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for the establishment of state-of-the-art laboratory will commence in June. Eighty new primary health care centres were built and fully equipped.
Dr. Rafiu said the state was able to accomplish this by boosting its health care workforce with five physiotherapists, 10 pharmacists; five pharmacy technicians, five optometrists, seven medical officers, 35 consultants, eight health information technologists, five health information technicians, five medical laboratory scientists, three medical laboratory assistants, five nurses /midwives.