Delta State Government (DTSG) has assured of more partnership with donor agencies to strengthen healthcare delivery in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, gave the assurance in Asaba during a stakeholders’ meeting and inauguration of a Technical Committee on Oxygen System Strengthening in Delta State.

According to the commissioner, one good thing that came out from the COVID-19 Pandemic was the exposure of the numerous shortcomings in the health system of which the state government had learnt a lot and working towards addressing such lapses.

As part of efforts put in place by the state government to meet the oxygen needs in the state, Dr. Ononye revealed that “our investment in oxygen generating capacity has led to the establishment of five oxygen generating plants which are functional, namely FMC, Asaba; Asaba Specialist Hospital, Central Hospital, Agbor; Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara and General Hospital, Koko.  While the plant in Central Hospital, Ughelli is undergoing massive rehabilitation, that of Central Hospital, Oleh is in progress.”

He stated that the Federal Ministry of Health through  the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) had awarded the construction of a new oxygen plant in the Central Hospital, Warri and about to commence operation, just as he added that the plant in the General Hospital, Aboh had been vandalised while the  ongoing Trauma Centre,  Agbor would get an oxygen plant.

The commissioner stressed the need for more intensive training of appropriate medical personnel to maintain the equipment.

Dr. Ononye charged the committee to do the needful, be committed and diligent as they carried out the critical assignment, geared towards saving lives.

In his address, Dr. Ejiro Ogheneaga, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, thanked UNICEF for supporting the  efforts of the state government, geared towards strengthening its oxygen system.

He commended UNICEF for sponsoring the committee nationwide and assured that the partnership would lead to reduction in morbidity and mortality, especially for patients in dire need of oxygen in the country.

Speaking also, Dr. Fumilayo Omaraka, Permanent Secretary, Hospitals Management Board, said that as managers of government owned hospitals, the importance of oxygen in the management of patients was very important.

The Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, Dr. Victor Osiatuma,  represented by Engr. Odima Charles, Chief Biomedical Engineer, FMC, Asaba, said that one of the key activities of the meeting was to support facilities to develop oxygen system plan to enable them forecast and manage procured equipment and consumables  for effective healthcare delivery.

Dr. Ufuoma Adu, representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), lauded the meeting for providing the platform for them to come together and look at the systemic gaps with a view to bridging them and assured of WHO’s technical support to improve on the oxygen system in Delta State.

On his part, Dr. Abe Eghe, Delta State UNICEF Office representative, said they were supporting the state through the provision of an oxygen desk as well as sponsoring assessors that would go round and carryout the assessment on the oxygen needs in the state.

Highlight of the event was the inauguration of the 28-member Technical Committee with membership drawn from the State Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Hospitals Management Board, Asaba Specialist Hospital, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Federal Medical Centre, Asaba and the World Health Organisation.