Rivers State Information and Communications Commissioner, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim has called on the Nigerian Medical Association to collaborate with the State Government in the war against illegal bunkering and artisanal refineries in the State.
Nsirim made the call when the executives of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Rivers State branch, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Port Harcourt.
He said the Association should carry out aggressive campaign on the health implications of the operation of illegal bunkering and artisanal refineries which have been identified as the major source of soot menace in the State.
He said that the voice of NMA in this direction will help to strengthen the effort of government by making the people understand the health hazard they face on a daily basis.
“We implore the NMA to join the State government to sensitize the people on the various state, owned media platforms because we really need to take this fight seriously.
“We can’t afford to begin to have a generation of men and women who would have some chronic ailment that ordinarily they shouldn’t have, simply because a few individual who are benefiting from this illegal act are doing so at our own detriment “.
Nsirim said Governor Wike had kept demonstrating that leadership prowess in all facets of life and that has earned him the title of the new face of democracy in Nigeria .
“Governor Wike is somebody who understands the dynamics of governance. Just last week we saw the verdict of the court concerning the Police trust fund.
“It is only somebody who really wants to make a mark and position leadership in a way that it will impact the people positively that will have time for such things.
“What we do today impact on society tomorrow, so all leaders must follow the footsteps of Governor Wike because leaving behind a worthy legacy is what will count after we leave office,” he said.
On the huge investment put into healthcare delivery by the Governor Wike’s administration, Nsirim described the State Governor as a man who has dedicated his lifetime to cause a change in leadership, not just of the State but of the Country.
“The investment Governor Wike is putting into health care delivery is not just for Rivers people but for the entire Nigeria. A lot of Nigerians will come here to access medical services because the facilities are top class and modern.
He listed the Mother and Child hospital, the Renal hospital, Government House clinic and the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease Treatment Centre and Medical College of the Rivers State University as some of the huge investments of Governor Wike in the health sector.
“With the award of scholarship to Rivers indigenes studying medicine in the medical college of the Rivers State University and their counterparts in Pamo University, Rivers State is gradually transforming to a State that will export medical manpower like other nations. This is highly commendable.
“We need to support this visionary leader as he goes ahead to set these things for posterity, because the truth of the matter is, a lot of people are dying today because the facilities are not there,” he said.
Nsirim noted that the massive health infrastructure put in place by the Wike’s administration will make healthcare delivery not just accessible but affordable, adding that accessibility and affordability are the major ingredients that will make the average person to get treated and get medical attention when needed, “and this is what we are seeing under Governor Wike.
“As Rivers people we should be grateful to Governor Wike for making Rivers State a hub of medical tourism in Nigeria. There is no State in the Federation that has this kind of medical blueprint where you have all facets of healthcare delivery from training to education to facilities to infrastructure and getting it at top class level,” he said.
He assured the NMA of his Ministry’s support to the forth coming delegates conference of the association urging the association to join in the #OurStateOurResponsibilty campaign aimed at changing negative narratives about the state. He thanked the NMA for offering to carry out free medical services to help the staff of the Ministry know their health status in order to avoid sudden death.
“We have every reason to change the narrative about Rivers State because Governor Wike is showing the way of purposeful leadership in Nigeria,” he said.
The Chairman of the NMA, Rivers State Branch, Prof. Chizimdu Alikor commended the Commissioner for the visibility given to the developmental strides of Governor Wike particularly in the health sector.
He said the purpose of the visit was to solicit the collaboration of the Ministry in the hosting of the National Conference Cum Delegate Meeting of the NMA scheduled for May 2022 in Port Harcourt.
Prof. Alikor opined that the conference would further open up Governor Wike’s developmental strides in the health sector to the over 5,000 medical doctors that are expected to attend the conference.
He intimated the Commissioner of his association’s plans to conduct a basic minimum medical care to the staff of the Ministry.