[files] Healthcare workers. Photo; THECONVERSATION
Former Minister of Health and Chairman, Chigari Foundation, Prof. Mohammed Pate, has called on the Federal Government to privatise the country’s health sector.
He stated this yesterday when he visited Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State with a delegation at the Government House, Birnin Kebbi.
Arguing that privatisation of the health sector is the best alternative in sustaining healthcare delivery, Pate informed his host that the delegation was in Kebbi as part of a consultative visit to the 19 northern states and Abuja to engage stakeholders in charting the best course of action on health security.
Pate explained that the impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) globally showed that health insecurity led to economic insecurity due to the adverse effect of the pandemic on the economic wellbeing of nations.
According to him, it is obligatory to engage stakeholders in dialogue on ways to prevent diseases and unfortunate deaths, particularly among children.
“I identified traditional rulers’ potency in mobilising their subjects to imbibe healthcare programmes as was evident in the immunisation that led to significant coverage of recipients, especially polio vaccine that helped in eliminating the disease entirely from Nigeria,” he added.
He commended Bagudu’s administration for its sustainable and essential support to the health sector, which improved the quality of healthcare services among communities in the state.
Emphasising that the aim of their visit was to meet with health stakeholders on how to reduce health insecurity in the country.
“We want to have a conversation with stakeholders on the issues of immunisation and other illness in society. We have a lot of work to do, but we are here to work together with the Kebbi State Government on healthcare delivery,” he said.
Responding, the governor said he has prioritised healthcare in the state with emphasis on full immunisation.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Babale Yauri, the governor said his administration succeeded in bringing primary healthcare under one roof taking immunisation coverage to optimum level of more than eighty per cent.
He said the state government made it a policy to provide functional primary health centre to each of the 225 political wards in the state.
“Already, it has rehabilitated 140 of such health centres, while renovating 36 others,” he said.
 
Bagudu said his administration also recruited and trained 850 healthcare workers towards meeting the manpower need in the health sector while acknowledging the contribution of traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders to the success of the immunisation programme by mobilising the populace to embrace the scheme and enjoying its benefits.
He then pledged to sustain cooperation and collaboration with the United States and other development partners on improving healthcare delivery service in the state.
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