By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
One hundred and sixty women have been recruited as Village Health Workers in 13 local government areas of Ekiti State.
Speaking in Are-Ekiti while declaring open the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Village Health Workers training workshop organized for 60 out of the women as parts of effort to build their capacity, wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Feyisetan Fayose commended the initiative noting that the introduction of Village Health Workers (VHWs) scheme in Local government areas will enhance patronage of Primary Health Care facilities.
Mrs. Fayose emphasized that the huge amount of money invested in the construction of health facilities will amount to waste of resources without adequate patronage of the facilities.
The governor’s wife noted that the Village Health Workers were engaged to complement the duties of conventional health workers under the scheme which is funded through tripartite arrangement involving Federal, state and the local governments.
She enumerated the duties of the VHWs to include serving as links between primary health facilities and patients at the grassroots, identifying pregnant women in the community by conducting home visits as well as educating pregnant women on the importance of antenatal care services.
According to her, the Village Health Workers are also expected to provide basic health education to family units on key household practices relating to maternal and child health, provide basic first aid care services (wound dressing) as well as create, compile and maintain records of pregnant women in the community under the supervision of Community Health Workers (CHEWs) and MDGs technical assistants among others.
Mrs. Fayose assured that the scheme will soon be extended to the remaining three local government areas of the state.
Charging the women to discharge their duties faithfully and with the fear of God, she urged Local Government Caretaker Chairmen to absorb them into their workforce at the expiration of the scheme in order to ensure the sustainability of the laudable project.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) State Implementation Committee whom is also the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Dipo Anisulowo tasked the Village Health Workers to be hardworking and to be of clean record, assuring that government would pay their monthly N18,000 stipend promptly.
The high point of the programme was the decoration of the wife of Governor as Ekiti State MDGs Champion.