The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, said on Wednesday, 10 June, 2020 that he bears no grudge against the governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde over the location of the Police Mobile Force, Ago-Are in Oke Ogun axis of the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor was in Oyo to commission the newly renovated and equipped Primary Health Care Centre, Aafin Oyo.
The governor stated that within the next three years, his administration will revitalise at least 351 Primary Health Care across at the rate of one per Ward, adding that his administration decided to give priority attention to Primary Health Care centres because they are the closest to the people.
He maintained that with the state having about 721 PHCs, which are mostly not in good condition, it is the focus of his government to, at least, revitalise one PHC per ward subject.
Speaking during the governor’s visit to the palace, the monarch urged the government to do everything it can to revamp the primary health care sector, promising to continue to back the governor to deliver good governance to the state.
He said : “Your Excellency, whatever you can do, do it. The conception of the primary health care system was developed in Russia. So, I understand too well that it is a policy that can be maintained and sustained if there is the will by the government and the people.
“We want good governance for the people and we will support you by God’s grace. We will continue to back you so that you can progress as you move this state forward.”
Speaking on the Mobile Police base, the governor said that he had no knowledge of the letter said to have been written by the Alaafin, declaring that he had, in September 2019, secured the nod of the Inspector General of Police to site a Mobile base in Oke Ogun to stem kidnapping and other crimes.
Governor Makinde equally stated that that the effort to renovate and equip the PHCs was already on, with the remodelling and equipment of Oranyan Primary Health Care, Ibadan; ALGON Comprehensive Health Centre, Eyin Grammar, Ibadan and the Aafin Oyo PHC.
He noted that the state is providing 1 Billion Naira to start the campaign to revitalise the PHCs, while it has also put an agreement in place to find means, on a monthly basis, to continue the campaign.
He said: “People may ask why we are not focusing on secondary or tertiary health facilities. Primary health care is the closest to the people and it is not every disease that should take us to secondary or tertiary health centres.
“Health is one of the pillars that this administration is standing on and primary health care is even more important because we have about 721 PHC facilities in Oyo State. I have visited a couple of them and majority of them are not in good condition. We just came back from Awe. The PHC there has been upgraded into a temporary isolation facility but once COVID-19 passes over us, then it becomes a standard primary health care centre that will serve the people of Awe.
“Out of the 721 health care facilities that we have, I don’t think 10 per cent of them are useful. So, we set a very tough task for ourselves. Within the time frame given to this administration, you will get, in every ward in Oyo State, standard primary health care facilities like this. We have commissioned that of Oranyan and another one at Eyin Grammar. We have this one coming on board and another one is in Awe but we need money to do this. We have been looking at the pocket of the government.
“To start with, we are providing 1 Billion Naira to start the campaign and we have also put an agreement in place to find means, on a monthly basis, to continue that campaign. We have asked the local government service commission, being its responsibility, that 7.5 per cent of its statutory allocation should be dedicated to primary health care centres.”
The governor maintained that the state will be putting in place the Primary Health Care Authority in the next few weeks in line with the extant laws on PHC.
Governor Makinde, who sought the support of the residents of the state, noting that its intention remained to look after the welfare of the majority, urged the people to go out for Community-Based Testing for COVID-19 and to heed the directive of the administration on precautions against the virus.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary Board, Primary Health Care, Dr. Muideen Olatunji, said PHCs have suffered neglect in the state for close to two decades, adding that “to have a sustainable, robust health service delivery, we need a very strong Primary Health Care system.”
He commended Governor Makinde for his commitment to strengthening the primary healthcare system in the state in line with his vision on health as one of the pillars of the administration.