AKOR SYLVESTER, Asst. News Editor
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has vowed to show results of good management of the nation’s health sector in six months to show results of his leadership of the nation’s health sector to Nigerians.
Adewole stated this when he assumed leadership of the ministry in Abuja, said he will prove himself to Nigerians in six months in the office as the minister of health.
Addressing senior officials of the ministry in company of his State counterpart, Prof. Osagie Ehanire, the minister said the next four weeks would be dedicated to laying solid foundation for health transformation in the country.
The Minister, who was accompanied by his family and associates, informed that deliverables must be set to convince people of the country of the reality of the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He specifically informed the gathering that he was aware of professional rivalries in the sector, but that all employees must work together to improve on the health of the nation’s population.
His words: “I am extremely delighted to be here. For me, it is homecoming. Let me admit, I wasn’t expecting to be posted to Health. For being posted to Health has significance. It is like Mr President is saying ‘go back into your terrain and sort things out.’ But, we cannot do it alone, we need you; as the apex policy body for health, we need you to work together.
“Working together implies that we can make a huge difference. I am not unmindful of the large pool of discontent, both intra and inter-professional; but we need to work together. I tactically avoided any question of leadership during my screening. I believe that one person is more important than any of us, that is a Nigerian citizen, either as a healthy person or as a sick person. The Nigerian citizen is more important.
“When we place the Nigerian citizen ahead every one of us, then every other difference will disappear. We have a huge challenge. We’ve been described as a generation that enjoyed better health when we were young than now. The onus on us is to bring back the health care system that we enjoyed when we were young, so that the next generation can enjoy something better,” he stressed.
Adewole continued: “There are quite a number of restructuring that we would need to do. We would need to look at how can we work with other tiers, secondary and primary health system because tertiary is not all that we need to promote and bring good health to the door step of our people. That means we need to work with the state government, we need to work with the local government. But, the leadership rests with this ministry and we need to provide the leadership. We need to change the paradigm. We need, like I said during the screening, to convince the whole world that the Nigerian woman and child cannot be disposable; that is where our interest is…When a woman and her child are well taken care of, the man will be taken care of. That is the truth. Then, when they are not taken care of, then, we are in trouble.
“So, we have a serious assignment to perform which involves working together, calming down frayed nerves; if possible seeking for moratorium so that we can have some peace. We should make our teaching hospitals better known for services than for lack of services…
“What we need to do is develop a plan and set milestone for ourselves; we can’t work without a roadmap. We also will not work without milestone and deliverables. We need to set these deliverables so that in the next six months, when people come to ask us what we have achieved, we should be able to tell them this and this we have achieved. But, in doing so, we have serious things to do in the next four weeks. i believe in the next four weeks, we need to lay a foundation.
Earlier in his address, Ehanire, who was joined by his wife, had pledged to consolidate of health programmes in the country and improve health of the population.
His words: “Coming in here is not strange to me. It is like entering into familiar territory. ..I am in the midst of professional colleagues here. I believe that it will be very easy for us. The ministry has been here for a long time and will continue to be here for a long time. What we like to bring into this place are changes that will deliver service to the people from the very base, grassroots, to the very complex.
“Health is very important for everybody. Therefore, this ministry has the responsibility to deliver substantially, to make a change, to make an impact. The change will not only be in the sense of bringing new idea, but improving on what is already on ground.
“Above all, it will be on improving on efficiency. You should be able to get more out of what you have. That is what I believe that the change is about. Resources are not the best for the country as we all know at the moment. So, the essence of efficiency is being able to manage resources prudently.