By Michael Oche,
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Outreach Medical Services, Dr Efunbo Dosekun, has said its partnership with other stakeholders has led to an increase in rural healthcare service in Delta state.
He stated this as part of event to mark the one-year anniversary of providing quality healthcare services to Ovade Community in Oghara, Delta State, under the Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC), in an innovative Public Private Partnership with Delta State Government.
Dosekun noted that in addition to healthcare services, “we are currently already providing clean water for the communities, and we will soon provide solar/inverter energy. We have treated over 1,500 children affected by the epidemic over the last one year. We have witnessed a 500% increase in antenatal care with over 45 deliveries and over 100 pregnant women currently nearing their expected delivery dates. In addition, there has been increase in immunization because we educated them on the importance of immunization”.
“And in the next one year, we hope that everyone in Oghara has good health knowledge to sustain healthy lifestyle, surveillance screening, relevant immunization access like tetanus vaccine for all farmers, and people with illness can access the center early before second tier or tertiary care is required.”
Also speaking at the anniversary, the Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation, Njide Ndili said the project was established to change the methods of healthcare delivery in rural areas.
She also lauded the Delta State government for providing an enabling environment for service delivery.
“I strongly believe that we are initiating a new model that could change the way healthcare is delivered, especially in the rural and hard to reach areas with the involvement of the private sector. At Ovade, we have witnessed encouraging results anchored on community engagement of the private sector and better quality of care in this community that was not present before this intervention.
“For us to change the way healthcare is delivered in rural areas, we need the government leading the process, with dedicated support from the private sector for effectiveness and efficiency. Trust in the healthcare system is essential for us to achieve UHC and this framework which is anchored on sustainability, scalability, transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency is a model which must be studied,” she said
She also said: “It’s crucial that when implementing an innovation, that you select dedicated and passionate partners. Delta State has taken the lead with DG of the Commission Dr. Ben Nkechika who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the State Government provides an enabling environment for the framework to succeed.
“I believe this is a very important project not just for PharmAccess, but for Nigeria. Based on the lessons we have learned so far, we are looking to replicate this framework across as many other abandoned primary healthcare centers across the country as possible with the appropriate enabling environments. I want to thank the Outreach team, led by Dr. Dosekun and Dr. Segun Ebitanmi of Outreach Hospital Lagos for their dedication and service to humanity.”
The Director-General, Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC), Dr. Ben Nkechika expressed delight at the impact of the project in the community.
Dr. Ben also assured the agency’s full support to help the healthcare workers in delivering quality services.
He said: “Through this project, there’s good evidence of clinical service, good evidence of community and authority engagement, and there’s also great evidence of adequate healthcare delivery to the people which meets their expectations. The fact that there’s good participation from the local government chairman to the Executive secretary, to the community leaders is very encouraging.”