By Ogochukwu Isioma in Benin City
Reforms by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in the health sector to improve primary healthcare delivery across the State, were brought to the fore at the Nigeria Primary Health Care (PHC) Leadership Challenge, as the State shone brightly, clinching over N184m ($400,000) cash prize.
The Primary Health Care (PHC) Leadership Challenge Fund is a flagship programme of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to revamp the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) policy in the country by maximising the commitment of state governors to promoting a progressive increase in PHC funding, and ensuring all primary healthcare centres have the requisite human resource capacity.
The Challenge is a joint project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Dangote Foundation and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Edo State emerged as the runner-up, South-South region to clinch the N184m cash prize.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the immediate past Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akoria Obehi, led the delegation from the Edo State Ministry of Health to the very colorful event held at Presidential Villa, in Abuja.
Reacting to the honour, Governor Obaseki said the achievement is a testament to the transformative reforms implemented by his administration in the health sector over the past six years.
He noted, “Our primary goal has always been to improve healthcare delivery and ensure that every citizen has access to quality primary healthcare services. For us, this is not just a recognition of our achievements but an affirmation of our resolve to continue pushing the boundaries of excellence in healthcare delivery. It reinforces our determination to sustain the momentum we have built and further improve the well-being of our people.”
The governor reassured, “We will continue to invest in infrastructure, human resources, and cutting-edge technologies that will strengthen our primary healthcare system and make it more responsive to the needs of our communities.”
Also, Prof. Akoria said the Challenge provided a fine platform to showcase the outstanding progress made by the Governor Obaseki-led administration in promoting primary healthcare and ensuring that every Edo citizen has access to quality care.
The Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, noted that the award was in recognition of the exceptional leadership shown by the governors in investing significantly in Primary Health Care, thereby positively transforming the lives of women, girls, and children in their respective states.