…Solicits Supports Of Community Newspaper Publishers To Reach The Grassroots
By Patrick Ochei
The Director General of the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, DSCHIS, Dr. Ben Nkechika has stated that the Governor of the State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa desires adequate health care attention for every Deltan, hence his proactive resolve to get every citizen of the state key into the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.
He made this statement while addressing community newspaper publishers at their Secretariat on Anwai Road, Asaba on Thursday 25th October, 2018, on the need for a strategic synergy and partnership towards reaching the grassroots populace with the message of health for all Deltans.
Nkechika who claimed that the Commission had done lots of health advocacy since inception, expressed the need for a strategic community media networks to reach those in the hinterlands and creeks with health care services and leave them with health information that they would process whenever the need arises.
Dr. Nkechika affirmed that as a burning desire in the heart of the Governor, about 110 health care centres had been upgraded, equipped and duly staffed to prosecute the Governor’s agenda for a healthier and disease free state.
The sound medical administrator posited that the state government had made adequate commitment to forestall unattended emergency situations, adding that as such had beefed up security within the health centres with regular health attendants on duty and in addition provided over 100 solar systems to ensure regular lighting in and around the various health centres.
According to Dr. Ben Nkechika, for emergency situations, ambulance services had been made available at various localities, including boat ambulances for the riverine areas in order not to be left behind in preventing unattended emergencies.
“We have done so much to reposition our health sector and sustain the policy of universal health coverage, which is uniquely practicable in Delta State through the operations of the State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.
However, health care must adequately get to the rural people. We have visited quite a number of unheard of communities to advocate for health needs of the people. We had even engaged the town criers, and two Liaison Officers in each Local Government Area, including Registration Agents had been engaged for the purposes of adequate and affordable health care deliveries.
But while those are not sustainable in retaining information at the grassroots, we have decided to adopt the option of the community newspapers to reach the people more and leave them permanently with our message of advocacy.
We seriously need these publications to help us ascertain how our patients at the localities are faring and the state of the facilities at the health centres, so we can promptly analyse our progress and upgrade where necessary”, Nkechika stressed.
Welcoming him to the Secretariat, the State Chairman of the Association of Community Newspaper Publishers of Nigeria, ACNPN and publisher of the Zion Nationale, Comrade Jude Obiemenyego commended Dr. Nkechika for taking the pains to come to solicit the group’s support.
He assured him that the group would have no choice but to extend that same hand of fellowship to him and his Commission.