The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for adequate and sustainable funding of research and development (R&D) by governments and high-net-worth individuals to combat the spread of infectious diseases.
The governor said this in commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day, marked every March 24, by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organs of the United Nations to raise awareness of the disease.
He said, “As we mark the World Tuberculosis Day, it is important for governments and high-net-worth individuals to provide funding for research that will lead to workable solutions on prevention and cure to infectious diseases. The need to support adequate and sustainable research is more important as the world battles to halt the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.”
Obaseki said the Edo Health Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP) is designed with well-equipped primary healthcare system to help in the fight against infectious diseases, especially with the intensification of immunisation efforts in the state.
The governor said the state’s investment in human capital cuts across education and health infrastructure, noting that refurbishing of 30 primary healthcare centres through the Edo-HIP initiative across the state has improved access to healthcare services.
On the theme for this year’s celebration, ‘It’s time’ the governor said it is imperative for all leaders to support genuine effort by researchers and other stakeholders to provide innovative solutions for tuberculosis, as part of measures to improve access to prevention and treatment of the disease.
He noted, “It is important to acknowledge the role of leaders in ensuring their people have access to quality medical care on prevention and treatment of tuberculosis at the centres closest to them.
“People should be encouraged to visit hospitals to access quality and affordable healthcare on prevention and treatment of infectious disease like tuberculosis. In Edo State, the compulsory Health Insurance Scheme for every resident is designed to assist them get basic medical care rather than resort to self-help.”
Obaseki added that the state government will continue to intensify campaign on immunisation in the state which is anchored on the need for children to lead lives that are not shortened by vaccine-preventable diseases.
He said his administration will continue to support the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), to stem the spread of infectious disease like the novel COVID-19, as part of government’s resolve to tackle health issues.
According to WHO, the celebration is “to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (TB) and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.