Cross river health Commissioner, Dr Betta Edu while addressing press men
CALABAR - Cross River State health Commissioner, Dr Betta Edu has accused the federal government of neglecting and denying the state of needed moral and financial support in the sustained efforts to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus global pandemic ravaging countries of the world, in the state.
The Commissioner made this known in a recent press statement issued by the media office of the state’s health ministry to newsmen, a copy of which was obtained by NEWS FLAKES NG.
Dr Betta Edu alleged that the federal government rather than support, was deliberately starving the state of needed funds to sustain efforts of the state government towards ensuring that the state remained COVID19 - free.
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The Commissioner while wondering if it's a must for every state to record cases of COVID19, based her allegations simply on the fact that the state was yet to record any single case of the virus in the entire country
The press statement reads in part;
"Cross River state has been rated topmost on prevention and even level of preparedness for the Corona Virus outbreak. The state has been widely praised by both FG and health expert who have done independent appraisals of the COVID-19 response in the state. However this has not gone down well with some clout seeking individuals and even highly respected groups as the believe it is too good to be true, the state must be hiding something.
"States have come to their wit end the are financially exhausted, some can’t even pay salaries again, Federal Government must come to the rescue immediately.
"Cross River State as a result of so many pleas for support from the Federal Government which has fallen on deaf ears has no option but to surrender its fate into the hands of the Federal Government as well as the NCDC stating that the State have done its best in putting into practice all the necessary preventive measures early which has yielded results, but it's very obvious that prevention isn't what is needed and will never attract any support as it has become a thing of shame rather than pride to the Nation for a State not to have a case and as such, Cross River state may soon decide to be politically correct if that's what will make FG support the State.
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She also lambasted certain individuals and groups, especially in the state, who rather than support the state government, engaged in the fabrications and circulation of falsehood for cheap political gains and with a view to creating unnecessary fears while endangering the lives of innocent indigenes of the state as well as other unsuspecting members of the public.
In her words,
"amidst the numerous challenges Cross River State has faced so far as regards the outbreak of the global COVID19 with no single support from the Federal Government the State remains the only one yet to record any confirmed case in Nigeria, the State's Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu has expressed her shock and dissatisfaction as to why individuals include highly respected bodies will indulge in falsehood, rumors and misrepresentation of information just to gather clout or impress the public and tell them what is sweet to the ears.
"Rather than work with the state Government to respond to the pandemic, they have gone to work, feeding the public with information that are totally false, misleading but would soothe their wicked imaginations and give them some closure.
"why is evil sweet to some people’s ears, why does negative falsehood spread so fast. Why does lies make bigger headlines, It's so sad to know that our Country is refusing to support a State that has no Corona Virus case to keep it that way but will rather prefer to support you to treat 10000 cases. As a Country, we've so magnified/glorified COVID-19 that our Health Workers out of fear have allowed patients with other ailment to die. People no longer come to hospitals out of fear that the will be tagged Corona virus positive. Health workers have abandoned hospitals in some states out of fear of death as adequate tools have not been provided.
She continued by alleging that,
"They wish to cast doubt on the minds of people and put people into perpetual fear leading to reduction in persons who might want to report at health facilities when sick and seek help for other health challenges. This scare has lead to increase in other disease like hypertension etc and even death from other illnesses due to scare and neglect of patients as fear has been created in the minds of even health workers. State will act decisively with such persons or group henceforth!
"We wake up everyday with a high expectations from NCDC as to the figures or number of cases they'll announce to us and when they do, we celebrate and keep expecting more. How many people are we going to lose as a result of other ailments before we will stop glorifying/hyping COVID-19"? How many people will this country lose to negligence of the health workers who we have put in perpetual fear with no proper tools to respond; before we know it’s time to change strategy?” Can Corona virus ever kill 3000 daily as maternal mortality does? How about the over 1000 persons dying of malaria daily in this country or the over 900 dying of malnutrition daily? Are these lives not important too? High blood pressure and stroke has become the order of the day, stress, psychological trauma, domestic violence etc is swallowing more lives.
"Isn’t it time to change strategy and demystify the whole Corona virus saga", she asked.
The Honorable Commissioner while lamenting poor funding and support for Healthcare facilities and workers, expressed worry over the increasing number of deaths occasioned by other diseases such as Malaria, maternal mortality, Childhood illnesses, Cancer, Diabetes, Hypertension amongst others which is killing Nigerians in thousands yet no one was actively responding to those.
"Health workers across the country are not supported with PPEs and are threatening strikes, Federal teaching hospitals are not actively supported across the country, neither are state government supported to respond to the pandemic except for very few selected states ( may be two or three so far that has received tangible support)"
She however advocated for more stringent measures to be put in place in tackling all diseases and improving the health sector across the country, especially in the state.
Recall that NEWS FLAKES NG had earlier reported that Cross River is the only state in the country which is yet to record any single case of coronavirus while Kogi state government, the other state with thesame COVID19 - free status until recently, is still battling with the NCDC officials after the Centre recorded two index cases of the virus for the state in controversial circumstances as being alleged by the state government.
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