The Edo state government received federal government’s $1.5 million “Save a Million lives” intervention fund to the state.
Governor Godwin Obaseki the commended the federal government for releasing the money when he hosted the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at Government House in Benin on Saturday.
He said the fund, geared toward improving maternal and child health, would be judiciously used in the state.
The governor said the state had set up a contact group to ensure that the programme achieved it’s aims.
“The contact group has done quite a number of work on the programme.
“I have taken personal responsibility to chair the contact group to show the level of seriousness we take the programme in the state,” he said.
The governor, who intimated the minister of his administration plans to reposition the state’s heath sector, said that much support would be needed from the Federal Government.
“We have refurbished the general hospitals across the state, but we have not been able to staff them adequately to provide the level of care we need.
“That is a major challenge and that is one area we will like to have more conversation with the Federal Government on how to resolve the challenge,” he said.
Obaseki said that the state also needed assistance in the repositioning of its school of Nursing and Midwifery and School of Health Technology.
Earlier, the minister commended the Obaseki for his scientific approach to addressing issues in the health sector and other sectors in the state.
Ehanire said that the Federal Government through the ministry had come up with policies and schemes geared toward reforming of health care delivery in the country.
He said that government had created a committee to resolve the issues of salaries and wages of health workers and incessant strikes in the sector.
He said the Federal Government was currently repositioning the primary health care system to take health care to the grassroots.
The minister said that plans were ongoing to link the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary health institutions for the purpose of having an effective referral system that could be made up of an ambulance service.
Ehanire also said that plans to extend health insurance scheme to the state levels were also been worked out.
He, however, urged the state government to give support to the management of the Federal Government health facilities in the state.