By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is building a robust healthcare system that would meet the needs of residents in the state, especially with the revamp of health institutions and establishment of the health insurance scheme in the state.
The governor said this in commemoration of the World Hepatitis Day marked every July 28, by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other sister agencies.
Governor Obaseki said the state government is investing in revamping Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) through the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (EdoHIP), which will afford residents in the state opportunity to access quality healthcare services.
According to him, “As we commemorate World Hepatitis Day, we reiterate our commitment to improving the healthcare system in the state by continually investing in the personnel and infrastructure at the facilities to handle communicable and non-communicable diseases, including hepatitis. We are also confident that the opening of the Edo Specialist Hospital will provide services to help in testing for and managing ailments.
“At the same time, we are rolling out the state health insurance scheme soon, which will make access to quality healthcare affordable.”
On the slogan of this year’s commemoration, “Invest in Eliminating Hepatitis,” Obaseki said the state government has committed considerable funds in healthcare interventions that would contribute to check the spread of the ailment in the state and also provide support to facilitate diagnosis of those suffering from Hepatitis.
According to the WHO, “countries should seek most optimal prices for medicines and diagnostics. WHO’s new analysis shows that hepatitis testing and treatment are high-impact interventions that can help countries accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). But prices for medicines and tests are very uneven and they can be very expensive in some countries.
For example, hepatitis C medicines can cost as high as US$120,000 in some high-income countries. Countries and partners need to work together to achieve the most optimal prices for hepatitis drugs and diagnostics to make access possible for more people.”