Governor of Delta, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Friday, said the State’s Contributory Health Insurance Scheme had contributed immensely to improved access to healthcare and decline in child and maternal mortality in the state.

Okowa disclosed this when he received on courtesy visit, the wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Mrs Victoria Irabor, at Government House, Asaba, and lauded her for contributing to the healthcare and well-being of children and families.

He said that his administration had impacted on lives of the people through many infrastructural development in the health sector and payment of insurance premium for pregnant women and children under five years.

According to Okowa, anything that is going to help improve the health of our people, improves the general well-being of the family. We know particularly, that most hospitals play a lot of role in attending to the health needs of our women and children.

“As you attend to the health needs of our women and children, you are actually attending to the totality of the family. So we want to thank you for the Cottage Hospital that you have built at Ute-Erumu in Ika North East Local Government Area.

“There is no doubt that the health of our people is very important and the health indices of this nation cannot be said to be the best globally. So, any assistance towards helping to improve on the health indices that will enable us to improve globally, is worthwhile.

“Concerning the health sector, we have tried to impact on the lives of our people. Generally in Nigeria, health facilities are still in a baby state and we have to continue to grow.

“We have done a lot of things in this state to improve on the lives of our people. Early enough in our administration, in 2016, we have passed the legislation under contributory health scheme.

“This has been functional and the highlight of that is that people pay their premium on health insurance, so that they don’t keep on waiting until they fall sick.

“But, our government decided to pay the premium of our pregnant women and children under the age of five. And, since January, 2017, we have constantly paid the premium of our pregnant women and children, and I think it has helped to improve the health of pregnant women and children.

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“It’s a programme that we cherish and we know that it’s already helping to reduce the under-five mortality rate and our people are happy for it.

“We thank you for recognising all that this administration has done in the health sector and we know that we are leaving the sector better than we met it,” he said.

He thanked the security agencies for their contributions to peace, stability and economic development of the state, saying, “Delta State particularly, has been relatively peaceful and I must publicly thank our security men.

“In the last eight years, they have done a lot of work; great cooperation between the government and the officers and their men. It has helped us a lot.

“The peace in the state has continued to attract a lot of people into Asaba that our population is now growing astronomically. It has grown to the extent that it is difficult to get lands anywhere in Asaba.

“So we have continued to expand to other communities around Asaba. It is because of the peace we have in Asaba which has enabled us to develop the capital.

“Even other parts of the state are not left out because Delta state has several growing cities; not like some states when you have few cities. So these security men have a lot to do because of the many cities,” Okowa stated.

Earlier, Mrs Irabor had told the Governor that her delegation was in the state to inaugurate a Cottage Hospital she built at Ute-Eremu in Ika North-East Local Government Area of the state.

She commended Governor Okowa for his outstanding accomplishments in the development of the state, adding that posterity would be kind to him for the massive infrastructural developments across the state.