Activities marking the third anniversary of the Dr Kayode Fayemi administration in Ekiti State commenced on Wednesday with the commissioning of the Funmi Olayinka Diagnostic and Wellness Centre and flag off of the State’s National Health Insurance Scheme-MDG Maternal and Child Health programme as part of efforts at actualising the vision for a qualitative health care service delivery in the state.
Commissioning the Diagnostic Centre which was named after the late Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, who died in April after battling with cancer, Governor Fayemi said the administration deemed it fit to provide the ultra-modern, state of the art diagnostic centre to forestall another loss to the dreaded disease.
The centre, which is equipped with modern equipment is to focus on early detection and treatment of cancer.
The commissioning was witnessed by the husband of the late Mrs Olayinka, Arc Lanre Olayinka; the daughter, Yeside; parents of the late Deputy Governor, Chief and Mrs Famuagun; and members of their extended family and top government functionaries.
Governor Fayemi explained that the resolve of his government to improving the health indices of women and children through affordable and accessible healthcare services necessitated the launch of a free cancer screening programme in June , adding that 45 of the 2,760 women that were screened had palpable masses in their breasts.
Twenty percent of the affected women, according to him, had advanced breast cancer while 31 percent were found to have breast lumps after histopathological examination.
The Governor stated further that the state also provided necessary support to those who needed to undergo immediate surgeries.
Fayemi opined that the centre would afford the citizenry the opportunity to enjoy first class healthcare and screening services without traveling outside the state or country, as the centre is well equipped and manned by experienced professionals.
He added that the centre would avail women the opportunity to screen for breast and cervical cancer while men can check for prostrate and colon cancer.
In her remarks, the Wife of the Governor and Initiator of the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), Erelu Bisi Fayemi, appealed to chairmen of the 16 local government areas of the state to take ownership of the project by sponsoring more women to patronize the centre.
She added that the centre will not only offer women the opportunity to do a breast check but will also provide training and counselling to ensure a healthy living.
Speaking on behalf of the Olayinka family, daughter of the late Deputy Governor, Yeside, commended the state government for naming the Centre after her mother; saying that this is not just a recognition of the late Deputy but also a demonstration of the commitment of Dr Fayemi to the vision he shared with the late Olayinka before her demise.
Earlier in her address, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, a cancer survivor, had advised women to always conduct thorough checks on their breast and report any strange lump to their doctor. She urged Ekiti women to take full advantage of the diagnostic centre provided by the government in order to guard against being killed by cancer.
The Funmi Olayinka Diagnostic Centre is equipped with an echocardiogram machine, ultrasound and exercise electrocardiogram machine and a mammogram among others while it is also being manned by experienced counsellors, psychologists, physiotherapist, radiologist, cardiologist and gynaecologist.
Other dignitaries at the event were: the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly, Hon. Adetunji Orisalade; the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe; Founder, Afe Babalola Universaity, Chief Afe Babalola; and members of the State Executive Council, among others.
While flagging off the Ekiti State-NHIS-MDG Maternal and Child Health programme, Governor Fayemi stated that the introduction of the programme is a fulfilment to expand the free health services of his administration which is being run in 35 primary health facilities to more locations across the State thereby ensuring geographical access.
The Governor disclosed that as at 2013 mid year review of the free health programme, 241,705 facility visits were recorded at the 35 centres with 7,228 normal deliveries.
He explained that his administration is not relenting in improving the health status of the people, even as government is rigorously working to create an enabling environment for health workers with the renovation of the general hospitals as well as their equipping.
The Governor expressed optimism that the 30 new facilities which are added to the existing 35 would provide access to free health care for the pregnant women and children under five years in the communities that have not benefitted from the programme in the existing 35 facilities.
This, according to him, would help ensure an infant and maternal mortality-free society.
At the flag off of the Health Insurance-MDG programme were the acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Sambo Abdurahman and the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. sola Fasubaa among others.