Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Thursday inaugurated the recently constituted “South East Govs Forum-Consultative Committee on Health (SEGF-CCH)”. The committee is saddled with the responsibilities of facilitating, among others, the productive and effective coordination of all health-related programmes in the zone for the wellbeing of the people.
The South East Governors’ Forum had during its economic summit last year, identified six thematic areas of priority for rapid development of the region, of which health was inclusive. Inaugurating the committee, chaired by a renowned gynecologist and Dean, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, Prof. Frank Ezugwu, Gov. Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, expressed confident that the committee members would discharge their responsibilities effectively, successfully and satisfactorily.
Other terms of reference of the committee, according to the Governor include, to “create a multi-sectoral platform that will harness and mobilize abundant private resources to complement government budgetary allocations and channel same towards public health improvements to optimize health care delivery and overall well-being of the citizenry; serve as a medium for grassroots/community-level mobilization and information dissemination on guidelines for achieving improved health outcomes and social well being”.
The terms also include, “to mobilize and strengthen traditional, religious and community-based institutions for health improvement through the promotion of a sustained positive health-seeking behaviour of residents of the entire zone”. Gov. Ugwuanyi, who noted that the task before the committee was “enormous and challenging”, however, stated that the members “are profoundly and properly equipped in terms of knowledge, experience, acumen and diligence”. In his welcome address, the Director General of the South East Governors’ Forum, Prof. Simon Ortuanya described the committee’s inauguration as a dream come true, disclosing that the forum’s primary focus was “to foster regional integration, accelerate economic development of the region within the context of a united Nigeria and also seek partnership with international donor agencies”.
Prof. Ortuanya explained that the forum is working assiduously with strategic partners, such as the DFID, PERL-ARC, South East Knowledge Hubs, the Bureau for Public Service Reforms, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), among others, towards the actualization of her thematic objectives in the health sector. The Director-General maintained that the committee will provide a veritable platform for the five states to achieve their health care needs, stressing that “we have kept faith with our mandate”.
He therefore, commended the DFID, World Bank UNSAID, UNICEF and other donor agencies for their support and expressed optimism about the committee’s ability to deliver on its assignment. Responding on behalf of other members of the committee, the Chairman, Prof. Ezugwu, commended the South East Governors for giving health care delivery in the zone the attention it deserves. He assured the governors of the members’ commitment towards enhancing the health needs of the people, stressing that with the caliber and integrity of the committee members they will realize the noble objectives.
“I carefully studied the terms of reference and identified healthcare agenda of the South East Governors to be in tandem with the World Health Organization not only in the social, physical and economic health of the people but also in all areas of health care delivery,” he said. Other members of the committee include, Dr. Fintan Ekochin; Dr. Mrs. Angela Uwakwem; Dr. Joe Akabuike; Dr. John Ahukanna; Dr. Dan Umezuike; Most Rev. Dr. CVC Onaga; Prof. Mrs. Adaobi Obasi; Mr. Ogbonna Ogwo; HRM Igwe Alex Onyido; Dr. Sunday Nwangele and Sir Chinedu Enemuoh, who serves as the secretary.