Cross River State Governor, Prof Sir Ben Ayade on Monday officially flagged-off the 2020 National Immunization Plus Days exercise and the commissioning of the Comprehensive Primary Health Centre in Ochu, Yache, Yala Local Government Area.
This is just as the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu has said that the digital governor is committed to quality health delivery in the state, adding that he is passionate about the health of all Cross Riverians. The commissioner stated this during her remarks at the event.
The governor was represented by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, at the epoch making event. The Deputy Governor is also the Chairman of the Cross River State Immunization Task Force.
Others at the event include, the Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr Janet David Ekpenyong, the Chairman of SUBEB and son of the soil, Dr Stephen Odey, the HOLGA Yala LGA, Representatives of UNICEF, WHO, Rotary Club etc). Others are other top state government functionaries, traditional rulers, Religious leaders, youth leaders, stakeholders in the health sector, health workers, amongst others.
Dr Betta Edu noted that, today is a very important day as we are all gathered here to make history with the completion and commissioning of this Comprehensive Primary Health Centre, Uchu, Yache, in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State by His Excellency, Senator Prof. Ben Ayade, (KSJi), the Executive Governor of Cross River State. This journey started in 2016 when your great Son Dr Odey passionately advocated for the Yache nation to have a befitting health facility, we thank our Boss for listening to the cry of your son.
She said, “This beautiful healthcare facility which is purely for the people and their health, which was conceived, constructed and to be commissioned by H.E has been his concern and target for all Crossiverians to have access to quality health care services. Am so proud of Governor Ben Ayade the goal getter of our time. God has been helping him to tremendously achieve and impact the lives of the people in this regard.
“This facility is well equipped with the state of the art medical equipment, and manned by professionals who are set to render quality health care services to the people who will access the facility to get their health needs met.”
While charging the people of Yache to take ownership of the newly commissioned health center, Dr Edu said, We want to also state that the facility is not government property as people commonly say, but I want you to know that is it owned by the people of this community. You gave your land; you labored here… proudly own it!
You have to be the custodians of this facility and be patriotic to ensure the facility functions properly and let there be that good community relationship between the management, staff and people of the community.
She further stressed that, The Governor Ayade-led administration has right from inception placed health of Crossiverians including the unborn as one of the topmost agenda and attention because without healthy citizens we cannot have other projects carried out.
The health sector of the State’s economy is our wealth and that is why the Executive Governor as a leader with special passion for the health of his people initiated various health policies, programmes, interventions and collaborations, which are to ensure all citizens of the State, are inclusive in the health package.
On the official flag-off the 2020 National Immunization Plus Days exercise (NIPDS), she said “it is a very important exercise and service to you, which also H.E is here to witness it. This exercise will be thorough and far reaching because government does not want any child to be left out. Those who are to benefit from this important exercise include pregnant women, children under 0-5 years, our personnel will be at every home, schools, churches and markets to administer the vaccine.
She added that, “We appeal to all our brothers who are husbands and fathers including uncles to please release their children and open their doors for health officers to have access to them. It is just a brief time they would spend with your children and wives. We also want our royal fathers, faith based organisations, women and youth leaders to please mobilize their families to bring out their children and wards for this important healthcare service that is free of charge.
“The government is concerned about your wives, mothers, sisters and children as the Ayade-led administration is poised with action to tackle and reduce morbidity and mortality in mothers, pregnant women and children of age 0-5. H.E is passionate about your health and well-being that is why his healthcare agenda focuses on the control of maternal mortality and infancy diseases and nutrition control, and other health challenges in the state.”
She also assured that “our digital Governor has risen hope and has demonstrated commitment like never before in the health sector trajectory of Cross River State. I assure you it will get better and better in the days ahead. Thank you to Deputy Governor Prof Ivara ESU for being so dedicated to health team. I thank you all very much for your attention and time.”
Meanwhile, the Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), has said that the immunization exercise which commenced on the 15th of February, will last till 18th of February with a target of 862,160 children between the age range of 0-59 months.
Speaking on the commissioning of the health center, she said, “I am glad to be part of this success story, witnessing the commissioning of Uchu Comprehensive health centre. Notably, today’s event highlights the commitment of His Excellency, Senator Professor Ben Ayade to ensure that governance gets to the grass root.”
Dr Janet stated further that, the project which was supported by one of your Sons Dr. Stephen Odey, will play a significant role in providing antenatal care, health care for children, programs on child nutrition and other health interventions.
“I am also confident that this Health centre will contribute towards the goal of kicking out polio by providing immunization services, including polio vaccines, even as the facility contributes to reduce mortality and morbidity in the community and its environs.
“I sincerely hope that the health facility and the equipments will be utilized and maintained most effectively and will contribute to the improvement of health and social wellbeing of the people of Yache,” she said.