Okowa has engendered paradigm change in Delta, says Dr. Michael Nwoko

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August 29, 2020|RAZORNEWS

As Deltans roll out the drums to mark the 29th anniversary of the creation of the state, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health Monitoring and member of the state taskforce on COVID-19, Dr. Michael Nwoko has described developmental strides recorded as encouraging.

He added that Deltans have reasons to celebrate following the paradigm change recorded under the watch of Governor Okowa since assumption of office in 2015.

  Nwoko noted that the governor’s records have surpassed those of his predecessors.

  Dr. Nwoko made the disclosure while speaking on Delta Broadcasting Television ‘Morning Ride’ Live Program Captioned ‘Celebrate Delta at 29’ anchored by Onome Tanu and Dew Wilson on August 27, 2020. 

  Speaking on the journey since the creation of the state, Dr. Nwoko took the audience down memory lane as he said, “looking at the journey so far, historically, Delta State was carved out of the Defunct Bendel State on August 27, 1991 by General Ibrahim Babangida and this into resulted strong agitation from different ethnic groups in the state, the Urhobos, Itsekiris, Ijaws and the Anioma people.

  “Since creation, the state has been administered by four democratically elected Governors; late Olorogun Felix Ibru (1992), 

Chief James Onanefe Ibori (1999 – 2007), Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Iduaghan (2007 – 2015) and of course His Excellency, Sen Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa 2015 till date. Talking about the achievement of the state since its creation, to me it has been so far so good. I want to believe that slow and steady win the race.

  “Right from the beginning, we have followed a developmental pattern, as you are aware, when Ibori came in, he met serious security challenges and communal crisis in some parts of the state. He was able to apply needed political Will to resolve the issues before leaving office at the same time the foundation for the development of the State was laid and this foundation has been consolidated upon by Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa who I describe as a political colossus, who understands the dynamics of the politics of the state, this is demonstrated by his developmental strides, which cuts across every part of the state. It will take days to outline the achievements of Governor Okowa since assumption of office because this has to be done with facts and figures. In his 100 days in office, Gov. Okowa had created over 17,000 private sector jobs. He consolidated on the peace initiatives of his predecessors. 

  “Today there is peace and security in the state. The list is endless, as Gov. Okowa has impacted on every sector of the economy of the state, which has helped to buffer the GDP of the State. In the health sector for instance, the Governor who is a medical professional and the only medical Doctor serving as Governor in Nigeria presently is very passionate about the health and well-being of all residents of the State and committed to ensuring that Delta State is ahead of other States of the Country by way of health indices.  Immediately His Excellency was sworn in on, 29th May 2015, he swung into action immediately by sending 4 bills to the House of Assembly and one of the bills is for an Act for the establishment of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission to midwife the Delta Contributory Health Insurance Scheme. Then he appointed men and women of impeccable character to administer the Commission. I had the honor and privilege to serve as Special Assistant to the Governor (Special Duties) on Contributory Health Commission, in the first tenure of His Excellency.”

“You will agree with me that one thing that can change the dynamics of health care delivery all over the globe is Health Insurance.”

“Before now if you go to any Hospital, Private or Government owned, you are expected to pay to obtain a card and pay consultation fees before you see a Doctor who may recommend laboratory investigation and prescribe drugs which you have to pay for but as an enrollee of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, you do not have to pay from your pocket to access health care and so the health insurance scheme helps to remove out of pocket expenses and the barriers of accessible, affordable and quick health care service delivery.”

“So far, the scheme have captured the States work force under the formal sector plan.” 

“Many enrollees under the informal sector plan which includes, market women, farmers, barbers, plumbers, mechanics petty traders etc. as well as pregnant women and Children under the age of 5 under the equity plan have been captured. Over 700,000 residents of the State have enrolled into the scheme.”

He added: “Having created the demand side of the health care, the governor recognised the fact that the supply side must be met to meet the demand side. He also recognise the fact that the Primary Health Care Facilities are critical and fundamental for achieving the Universal Health Coverage and to this end, His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor of Delta State went on to revamp the Primary health care centres which is the foundation for health care delivery system.  A policy called – Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR), that is THREE IN ONE policy was implemented to bring the various healthcare delivery organs together under one roof, the integration of all PHC services under one authority, has provided adequate capacity to control services and resources.

The PHC policy of Delta State Government is to ensure that there is a Health facility for every 500 Deltans and especially to meet the demands of the health insurance enrollee at the primary level

The SSA noted, “Every federal ward in the State, has at least one primary health care centre to meet the health needs of all Deltans.”

He further went on to State “Gov. Okowa’s administration has renovated and equipped secondary and tertiary health facilities in the State for a more effective service delivery to the people of the State. 

Dr. Nwoko said that Gov. Okowa has revamped all the secondary heath facilities in the State and equipped them with modern state of the art medical equipment. These secondary health facilities included the Government Hospitals and the central Hospitals in all the local government areas in the State.”

Dr. Nwoko made particular reference to Asaba Specialist Hospital, which he “described as one of the best of its class in the Country.”

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