Monday, August 15, 2022

Friday July 29, 2022

It is pertinent to correct the erroneous impression and fabricated narrative in the aforesaid title by one Dr Akeredolu O.N. This response becomes imperative to place the truth in the public space before the lies travel halfway around the world.

Ostensibly, the position of the author was driven on a bitter path of a fruitless incitement. He erroneously suggested that the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu administration has done nothing to improve the Mother and Child hospitals in the state, develop infrastructure and judiciously use the bailout funds to offset salaries.

While it is a conceded fact that citizens are at liberty to criticise any government, it is also dignifying to do so with accurate facts and figures devoid of bitterness and lashing out of frustrations.

Let it be known that Governor Akeredolu’s commitment to the genuine development of the Sunshine state is unwavering. He has shown uncommon passion, dedication and courage to the welfare and prosperity of the people and the state.

Although, It is trite knowledge that no government anywhere in the world can claim to have done or achieved it all, Governor Akeredolu has made tremendous progress in the state’s health sector since the inception of his administration. With regards to the Mother and Child hospitals, the Akeredolu’s administration has recorded unprecedented achievements.

When this administration came on board in 2017, the maternal and child care services at the two Mother and Child hospitals in Akure and Ondo town were already suspended on account of backlog of debts already incurred on consumables, most significantly on drugs.

Imbued with inexorable determination and commitment to develop the state health sector and revive the dying Mother and Child hospitals, Governor Akeredolu expanded the special health facilities to the other two senatorial districts in the state since the two earlier established by the previous administration were concentrated in the Central Senatorial District.

On the 6th of February, 2018, Governor Akeredolu signed into Law the bill establishing the Ondo State Contributory Health Commission (ODCHC) and the Ondo State Contributory Health Scheme (ODCHS). The ODCHC has a five bespoke health insurance products for all strata of the teeming population of Ondo state under the ODCHS cover, including the Abiyamo Maternal & Child Health Insurance Scheme (AMCHIS).

The Abiyamo Maternal & Child Health Insurance Scheme (AMCHIS) is a State Equity Scheme for two sets of Vulnerables – Pregnant women and Under-5 children. This program is fully funded by the State Government.

Governor Akeredolu launched this scheme on the 3rd of December, 2019. Since the inception of the scheme, it has made provision of maternal and child care free and sustainable. It gives access to Antenatal care, delivery (including Caesarean section), post-natal care for the mother (up to 6 weeks after delivery), neonatal care (first 30 days of baby’s life) and treatment of common illnesses in children till they attain the age of five years. Beneficiaries do not pay for services.

The pre-qualification criterion to enjoy this scheme is the Kaadi Igbeayo (Ondo State Residency Card), which is issued to residents of Ondo State by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). Governor Akeredolu has also ensured that the card is issued at NO COST to pregnant women willing to become AMCHIS beneficiaries.

It should also be known that the premium for AMCHIS is solely paid by the Ondo State Government and there is a state budgetary line yearly to this effect. Till date, AMCHIS has recorded over 22,500 beneficiaries (pregnant women and children below five years of age).

There are seven AMCHIS providers spread across the three Senatorial Districts of the state namely: Mother & Child Hospital, Akure (Central Senatorial district); UNIMEDTH (Laje, Ondo & Akure complexes) – (Central Senatorial district); General Hospital, Owo (Northern Senatorial district); State Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko (Northern Senatorial district); General Hospital, Ore (Southern Senatorial district); State Specialist Hospital, Okitipupa (Southern Senatorial district); and General Hospital, Igbokoda (Southern Senatorial district).

Since this scheme was launched on the 3rd of December, 2019, a total number of 24,678 including Pregnant Women and Children under 5 have benefited till date. At the Mother and Child Hospital, Akure alone, over 4,842 total number of Pregnant Women have accessed Ante-Natal Care till date with 3,432 total deliveries.

Aside service delivery, the Akeredolu administration has also embarked on Structural Expansion at the Mother and Child hospital in Akure with the construction of General Out-patients Department (GOPD) which is near completion.

As part of his determination to provide first-class health facilities for the people of the state, Governor Akeredolu took another giant leap with the ongoing construction of a modern world-class 250-bed University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital complexes in Akure and Ondo town respectively. This is aside the regular provision of medical equipment at the teaching hospital and Mother and Child hospitals.

Since the inception of his administration till date, Governor Akeredolu has recruited over 425 health workers including Consultants, Nursing officers, Staff Nurses/Midwives, Medial doctors, Pharmacists, Radiographers among others. The State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has equally recruited 804 health personnel. The UNIMEDTH wasn’t left out. Over 400 medical personnel have so far been recruited. At the Mother and Child hospital in Akure, there are 434 health workers presently working at the facility.

The puerile submission that majority of medical doctors in the state have tendered their resignation letters due to a supposed hardship from the Akeredolu’s government is not only wicked but laughable. Brain drain of nurses and doctors is a national calamity occasioned by the massive recruitment of health workers by developed countries whose health sectors have depleted in personnel due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Doctors and nurses in Nigeria are daily applying for jobs abroad, obviously in search of greener pasture, especially with the rising exchange rate.

It is equally pertinent to state that the erroneous impression being created by this Dr Akeredolu, in reference to the unsavoury perspectives that the potholes on state’s roads are indications that the Akeredolu administration has failed in the area of infrastructure, is not just juvenile but pernicious.

For the record, the Akeredolu administration has completed 274.11km of roads across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State while 120km are ongoing across the three senatorial districts. Among the completed roads awaiting commissioning are: 4.5km Agadagba Obon-New Ajapa Road in Ese-Odo Local Government Area; 10.0km Okitipupa-Igbokoda Bye pass, Okitipupa Local Government Area; 3.0km Oke Igbo Township roads, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government; 8.05km Ikaramu-Akunnu Road in Akoko Northwest Local Government Area and 1.6km Ikaro Township Road, in Ose Local Government Area.

Dr Akeredolu must be bereft of facts or deliberately suffering from selective amnesia to have questioned the use of the bailout funds received from the federal government. Governor Akeredolu inherited seven months salary arrears on assumption of office. These bailout funds were deployed to offset these backlogs.

The Labour Unions in the State have an understanding with the government to the effect that they are usually privy to the size of monthly federal allocation revenues. They sit on the table with government representatives and suggest the monthly payment template. This has helped Governor Akeredolu to defray salary arrears in the state even in the face of dwindling economic fortunes of the country.

Perhaps, it is important to note that failed desires, defeated expectations and jaundiced hope have an effective and potently irreversible way of colouring people’s perception of any system. It is safe to say that these persistent attacks could be products of any of such challenges. We call on the good people of the state to ignore these attacks that are most unlikely to cease as we progress.

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