Governor Okezie Ikpeazu says he would remain committed to the success of Abia Tele-health Initiative in the State and assured that he would take the campaigns to various individuals, groups, sectors and LGAs of the State.
The Governor was speaking during the maiden stakeholders’ meeting of the Abia Tele Health Initiative held at Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia.
He said he has consistently pursued the dream and vision of the initiative and stressed the need for all to leverage their cell phones to get adequate healthcare.
Governor Ikpeazu used the opportunity to buy the 5000 naira card each for all students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture and Nursing students of FMC and Amachara Umuahia who were present at the meeting.
He stated that everyone has a stake in the initiative and solicited the support of all and sundry to the program.
The Governor, who appreciated the Globacom Nigeria Communications who sent some of its senior officers to the event, for using the strength of its network to deepen healthcare delivery in the State by partnering the initiative, also thanked the lead consultant, Dr. Omas Ubiame for her commitment in pursuing the project.
In his speech, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Osuji said that with the triple objectives of the initiative, including wider access, better outcome and broader coverage combined with the proposed Abia State Tele-health Support By-Law, Abia State is positioned to integrate Tele Health into her contemporary local health system.
He assured that with government partnership of the Globacom Nigeria Communications and “Dial-a-doc-direct”, the Abia Telehealth Initiative is set to deliver affordable healthcare services.
According to him, when effectively deployed, Abia State Tele-health Initiative would enhance better healthcare as well as meeting healthcare needs of the people, especially those in the rural areas. He stated that the stakeholders meeting would focus on how to drive the healthcare initiative in a more robust manner .
Earlier in a presentation, the lead consultant, Abia Tele-health Initiative, Dr. Omas Ubiame informed that the Tele-Health or “Dial -A -Doctor-Direct” initiative has the mission of leveraging simple and available telecommunication technology to promote good health in Abia State through phone calls.
According to her, the initiative works in such a way that people are provided special call cards with personalized PIN numbers. She explained that, after getting the card, one is expected to call a designated number which links him up automatically to a Doctor, who then attends to his health issues through his phone.
Dr. Ubiame said that Abia is the first State in Nigeria and Africa to successfully initiate such a scheme and called on all to leverage the opportunity of having a phone and getting the 500 naira dedicated card to access healthcare .
She further said that the initiative works with Primary Healthcare Centers in the State which is the first port of call for sick persons to achieve the needed healthcare and stressed the need for all stakeholders to embrace the initiative, adding that the “Dial -A -Doctor – Direct” Initiative can save life, time and money to everyone and thanked the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu for sponsoring the initiative in the State.
The program drew participants from various stakeholders in healthcare including, Traditional Rulers, students among others.
Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem and other top officials of the State Government were part of the event