Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has rated the medical facilities in Bayelsa State high as he underwent his medical checkups in the state on Monday and Tuesday.
The former President was in the state in fulfilment of his promises in February this year when he inaugurated the state Diagnostic Centre that he would be visiting the state for his medical checkups.
Obasanjo, who said he went through the whole process of heart test, internal organs such as kidneys, liver, spleen, blood pressure, among others, said Nigerians had no business travelling abroad for medical tourism.
He said, “The same thing you can get anywhere in the world, you can get it here (Bayelsa). Why do you have to travel?
“Wherever we get best practices, let’s spread it. When l was here last February, l saw the standard of the facilities here that could be used by all Nigerians. There is no need for a Nigerian to say he is going to Dubai, United Kingdom, America for medical checkups.
“I went through all the medical checks, that l would normally have gone through anywhere. The eye, the mouth, the head and the doctor showed me what my brains looked like.
“When l looked at it, he said my brain is clean and clear and l said, it means my head is correct. Not only that the cost is reasonable, the services are superb. So, what people are going to Dubai, India, America, UK, Saudi Arabia for is here in Bayelsa.”
After the medical checks up at the State Specialist Hospital and the State Diagnostic Centre, the former President proceeded to the D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall where he chaired the First Infant/Maternal Mortality summit.
At the summit, Obasanjo, who was received by Governor Seriake Dickson, and top government functionaries, said there was the urgent need for advocacy and raising of awareness to stem the tide of infant/maternal mortality.
Speaking at the summit, Governor Seriake Dickson lamented deaths emanating from child bearing, saying that his government had, as part of the measures to stem the tide, built world-class health facilities.
He said the government had built pharmaceutical centre to check fake drugs, adding that in every local government areas, hospitals had been built to tackle the cases of infant/maternall mortality.
The governor announced an allowance of N3,000 per month for every pregnant woman in the state for ante-natal care.
Dickson said, “I want to announce a government policy that in order to make it possible for every pregnant woman to deliver safely, in order for us to know that every pregnant woman is accounted for, supervised and supported all through her pregnancy up to delivery, the government at this summit is announcing a safe maternity allowance of N3,000 per month to every pregnant woman in Bayelsa.
“This N3,000 is not for every woman in the state. This one we are announcing is a special safe motherhood allowance. From the moment a Bayelsa woman and every woman living here in Bayelsa becomes pregnant, she is entitled as of right to N3,000 until her delivery.
“But that money will be accessed upon registration in your nearest health care facility for ante-natal services. So, once a woman is pregnant, all you need to do is to go to the nearest healthcare facility and register. Those who are attending to you will ensure they run a simple test to ensure you are pregnant.
“As they confirm that, they enrol you for the ante-natal programme which should not be more than nine months, from that month, through the recommendation of that healthcare centre, receive N3,000 alert every month until you deliver.
“What I want to announce to you also, is not just making money available, but to ensure that the health team give me a monthly report of the number of women who have been registered in this safe motherhood programme from local government to local government and also the report of their pregnancies and delivery.”
The governor said he would appoint somebody that would provide report to him, noting that if a woman took the money and she is pregnant he desired a report on how she is delivered and what happens.
Dickson added, “I have told the Commissioner for Health that in the unfortunate event, God forbid, of anything going wrong in respect of pregnant woman in this state, I will direct a special coroner’s inquest.
“The essence is that I want to check whether all these processes, I want to check the integrity of this programme, I want to get a report of the conduct of medical practitioners attending to her and those of the traditional birth attendants.”