Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday reassured Kwarans of his administration’s focus on using available resources and workable partnerships to bring quality and affordable health care services to their doorsteps.
The Governor said this in Ilorin while flagging off the MTN Y’ello Doctor Primary Health Care Intervention, organized by the MTN Foundation, in collaboration with the state government.
“As a government, our pledge is to provide good governance that ensures the dividends of democracy reach every Kwaran within Kwara State. The provision of health care services is a key part of the basic needs of our communities and we are focused on making use of our resources as a government and sustainable partnership, such as this, in achieving goal 17 of the United Nations’ ‘Sustainable Development Goals.
“The operation of the Federal Government driven ‘Basic Health Care Provision Funds’ in the state ensures that at least one primary health care centre in each ward is structured to provide basic health care services to our people. This, is in addition to the state’s health insurance ‘Kwara care’, the ‘Malaria Free Kwara’ initiative, the free distribution of Anti-Malaria chemoprevention drugs, insecticide treated nets, nutritional supplements and the monthly medical, surgical and eye care, are all products of dedicated and strategic investments on the health of Kwarans,” he said.
Represented by the Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, AbdulRazaq noted that the collaboration will further strengthen these multifaceted approaches the state government is undertaking to meet the health needs of over 3.6 million citizens under his watch.
He commended the MTN Foundation for partnering with Nigerian states including Kwara in ensuring that the citizens are healthy, adding that the task of providing effective medical coverage to various communities is a mutual one.
“Your mission to Kwara is no doubt an impact filled exercise which will better the lives of the good people of Kwara state. On this note, I welcome the team of experts in primary health care which you have specifically recruited for this exercise and I gladly receive the highly coveted singular but all-encompassing specially built health care service delivery truck”.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Raji Razaq, in his remarks, said the present administration is hugely committing efforts and resources to make quality health care services accessible to Kwarans, adding the government had, in recent past, renovated not less than 40 healthcare centres, recruited more than 600 medical personnel and paid all counterpart funds that enabled the state keying in all the federal government projects of different kinds.
He commended MTN for complementing the government’s efforts on health services and for choosing Kwara as one the six states to benefit from the intervention, urging all and sundry to make themselves available for the medical outreach.
“What we are witnessing today is the social responsibility component of MTN Nigeria to give back to the society, by intervening in health sector of the state. This is to complement the efforts of Kwara state government. Kwarans are happy with this and with the government especially on the healthcare delivery system. We are happy that the government is not disappointing Kwarans. Even though government is doing its best, there is no way we can do it all. We need collaborative offers from corporate bodies, philanthropists and well meaning individuals to be able to bridge the gap,” Raji said.
“The MTN Team will be attending to more than 100 patients per day. Everything is going to be free, and they will be in Kwara for a period of one year”.
The event was well attended by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Professor Adekunle David Dumade; Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Nusirat Elelu; Senior Special Assistant on Grassroot Mobilization, Musbau Esinrogunjo; Special Assistant on Women Empowerment, Hajia Bolanle Ismail; Permanent Secretary, Dr. Abubakar Ayinla; representative of the DG Hospital Management Bureau, Dr. Femi Joseph; and Director, Public Health, Dr. Fakayode Oluwatosin among others.
Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Mrs. Odunayo Sanya, for her part, said the Foundation was established 15 years ago to respond to the health needs of Nigerians, who, she said gave the firm the social license to to operate in the country.
She said the Foundation earmarked at least 1 percent of its yearly profit to help empower youth and seek to improve the public health, saying good healthcare service for citizens is one of their priorities.
“The MTN foundation was set up in 2006. And what we do is that MTN set aside up to 1 percent of its profit after-tax every year to intervene in areas of youth development and national priorities that comprise health, economic empowerment and community development portfolios. Here today, we have six of the trucks, this is the phase three; For us at MTN we believe it is important to make every Nigerian has access to healthcare services.
“We recognize again that healthcare service is not just about health. It is also an economic issue. So, we invested in these trucks to go into the underserved areas in Kwara and five other states of Anambra, Gombe, Kano, Rivers and Lagos, to enable people enjoy the benefit of modern life by elevating their health standard,” she said.
She commended Governor AbdulRazaq for the hospitality and for doing so much to allow citizens live a modern healthy life.
Among the services to be made available to people are medical consultation, vital checks, rapid diagnostic tests, dispensation of medications, counseling and referral services.