Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has stated that his administration increased the budgetary allocation for the health sector in the 2020 budget because of his commitment to universal health coverage in the state.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative for Nigeria, Dr Peter Lasuba, on Friday at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said his Administration was committed to improving healthcare delivery in the State.
“We have increased the budgetary allocation for the health sector in the 2020 fiscal year. We have placed priority on health. We are expanding our health facilities for the benefit of our people.
“The issue of health is critical to the development of the state. Without health, other sectors will suffer. Therefore, we will continue to invest in the health sector. ” Wike said.
He announced that the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme of the state will now be compulsory.
“We have said our Contributory Health Insurance scheme will no longer be voluntary. Henceforth, it will be compulsory for everyone.
“We will do everything possible to strengthen our partnership with the World Health Organisation and health related institutions in order to promote the healthcare system in our state”, the governor assured.
According to him, the Rivers State Government has procured 200,000 insecticide treated mosquito nets for distribution to Rivers people in the fight against malaria.
The Governor also released the State’s Counterpart Fund for the fight against Yellow Fever in the State.
In his remarks, Dr Lasuba appreciated investments of the Wike Administration in the health sector.
He said: “Let me also appreciate you for prioritizing social services including health as engine of human development, poverty eradication and prosperity for all in the State.
“Your focus on Universal Health Coverage is a great vision anchored on the global health agenda to ensure healthy lives and well-being for this State”, Lasuba said.
He commended the Rivers State Governor for the support for the organisation’s programmes and called for the strengthening of the partnership between World Health Organisation and the Rivers State Government.
He said: “I salute your unwavering support to health and humbly encourage you to continue with the noble responsibility. We are here to continue supporting you in this very important journey. We need to sustain the successes recorded in the health sector.
“Winning election for the second time is a clear testimony of your dedication to Rivers’ development, which won the hearts of the electorate.”