Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has announced the establishment of an agency to tackle the increasing prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the state.
Governor Dickson announced this at the swearing-in ceremony of the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Michael Awoli in Government House, Yenagoa.
According to Hon. Dickson, reports at his disposal indicate the prevalence rate of the pandemic in the state is very high, which he noted portends grave danger for the future of the state.
To institutionalize the fight against the scourge, the Governor said a bill establishing the agency has been forwarded to the State House of Assembly.
Governor Dickson explained that the body will be in a better position to coordinate government’s policies and programmes on HIV/AIDS in the state.
Speaking further, Hon. Dickson reiterated his administration’s commitment towards providing effective health services to Bayelsans.
To this end, he charged the newly sworn in Commissioner to be innovative and formulate policies that will assist government to provide “world class modern health delivery services to the people”.
Governor Dickson, who urged the health commissioner to also take inventory of all existing health institutions in the state, noted that the present administration has gone far with the processes of awarding contracts for the construction of functional general hospitals and other health facilities in all the eight local government areas of the state.
While lamenting the undue setbacks the Melford Okilo Memorial Hospital has suffered, Governor Dickson expressed optimism that his government would make concerted efforts to expedite the completion and use of the 500-bed hospital in the next 6 months.