The Bayelsa State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed a one-point resolution condemning what it termed the deplorable condition of health centres across the eight local government areas of the state.
The Assembly, therefore, invited the Commissioner for Health, Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health, the eight local government chairmen and their heads of medical department, and the chairman and secretary of the primary health care board to appear before the House Committee on Health to explain the ugly situation at the health centres.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Mitema Obordor (Ogbia 1) on ‘The need for functional health centres in all the local government areas in Bayelsa State.’
Moving the motion, Obordor said that health centres in the state “are either non-functional or in very deplorable condition where they do exist.”
He argued that local government councils are recognised by the nation’s constitution as the third-tier of government with the mandate to bring governance and government activities closer to the people by providing basic amenities and social services for rural dwellers.
Obordor said one of such social services was the establishment of functional health centres to cater for the primary healthcare needs of the people.
“Health centres are directly under the local government councils. The provision of functional and accessible health centres in the local government areas supersedes every other infrastructure,” the legislator said.
Speaking separately in favour of the motion, Tonye Isenah (Kolokuma/Opokuma 1), Ebiowou Koku-Obiyai (Yenagoa 2), Salo Adikumo (Sagbama 3) and Charles Daniel (Brass 1) said that the world was moving towards preventive health care and primary health facilities.
They stated that the neglect of the primary health centres had created room for quack health practitioners to operate, stressing that this was posing a serious danger to the lives of the people.
Other lawmakers, including Wisdom Fafi (Kolokuma 2), MacDonald Igbadiwei (Southern Ijaw 4) and Teddy Elemeforo (Yenagoa 3), urged the local councils to give priority attention to the provision and equipping of health centres in the interest of the people.
They also advised health personnel posted to such health facilities to endeavour to stay at their duty post to serve the people and save lives.