‘When a child watches his/her hands precisely well, he/she must surely continue to eat, dine and wine with the elders so said the African adage’. No doubt, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the immediate past Minister of State for Health indeed and in all standard washes his hands very well right from his childhood and even till now that he is very much matured in all standard, at such he is eating, dining and wining with the elders and the determinant personalities in Nigeria and even leaders at the international level.
Come to think of it, a concern Nigerian that’s very familiar with the past and present earth-shaking achievements of the highly technocrat and erudite scholar; Dr. Ehanire, will not be amaze to see himeating, dining and wining with the timbers and the calibers in view of the fact that he is a well-known expert in the medical field and has been deploying his enormous wealth of knowledge across borders to turn around the health sector both in his own place of origin Edo State during his stewardship as a Clinical instructor and Registrar with the prestigious University of Benin Teaching Hospital and later as Member of Edo State Hospital Management Board.
However, the real reward for Dr. Osagie Ehanire’s humility and technocratic nature manifested when in the year 2015 the eagle eyes of the presidency under the leadership of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari fished out the Oredo born indigene of Edo State to become the Honorable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As expected, Ehanire as Minister of State for Health arrayed his wealth of knowledge to redefined positive and productive leadership in the health sector across Nigeria, the impact of which till today still stand very much visible for everyone to see. Prominent among his earth shaking achievements were the revitalization of over 10, 000 Primary Health facilities across the 774 Local Government Council in Nigeria.
The revitalizations no doubt brought in sigh of relief for so many rural dwellers across Nigeria in view of the fact that most of them traveled long distances to get health care as a result of the deplorable conditions of health facilities in Nigeria especially at the rural areas. The negative impact of the poor health facilities then lead so many Nigerians particularly those in the rural communities to untimely death.
So, when the revitalizations programme was implemented, so many rural dwellers across the country celebrated further thanresistor in connection to the fact that; they can easily after a very long time access free antenatal care especially for pregnant women, as well as free health care for new born babies and anti-retroviral drugs for those infected with the dreaded HIV and AIDs.
All these land mark achievements were accomplished with very meagre resources accrued to the Ministry then due to the poor economic situations in the country at that time which was mainly created due to the fraudulent activities of the past government of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The Ministry also launched the Tobacco act campaigned which the sum of N550 million was committed into.
The ministry also strengthen the usual immunization program across the country to curtail wide spread of polio immunities. Prominent among the Oredo born technocrat achievements as Honorable Minister of State for Health was the drastic reduction of the malaria prevalence across Nigeria by 42/27percent. He also launched a health facilities registry to grant public access to update information about all health facilities across the country through electronic method. The programme was rated by prominent national and international health expert as one of the best in Africa continent in view of the incomparable successes it recorded within short time.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire also beyond expectation set up a team to ensure that polio in Nigeria is brought to its kneel and as expected, the team recorded great success in their task. He was able to made serious impact in this regard by working together with World Health Organization (WHO)and through the approval of National Health Policy aimed at providing qualitative Health for every Nigerians, the positive impact of that excellent decision culminated into the speedy passage of the National Health Insurance Amendments Bill by the 8thAssembly which is now on the table of Mr. President only waiting for his kind approval to become a law.
Nevertheless, the tenure of Dr. Osagie Ehanire as Honorable Minister of State for Health witnessed some little crisis as a result of rebelliousness from some saboteurs within the health sector that are afraid of his earthshaking achievements which no doubt will block their fraudulent activities that were seen as a normal norms within the health sector during the past government. In all conscience, if I am to fully download the massive achievements of the technocrat surgeon from Oredo in Edo State, space will not be enough because, the outstanding surgeon who is an alumni of the prestigious Ludwig Maximillian’s University, Munich, performed excellently far above expectations that if he is again considered for Honorable Minister for Health, Nigeria shall indeed continue to feel the positive impact of his professional competency and leadership prowess.
Before I forget, Dr. Ehanire also bagged post graduate diploma in the medical field from the Teaching Hospital of the University of Dusseldorf and Essen, Germany in the areas of Anesthesiology, General Surgery and Orthopedic Trauma Surgery. He served on various capacity in the medical arena both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. Prominent among them were; Senior Medical Consultant to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Clinical Course Instructor, Fracture Internal Fixation Course, BG Accident Hospital Duisburg in Germany. Dr. Osagie Co-authored the Orthopedic book: ‘The Severely Injured Limb’ edited by John Ackroyd.
In all ramifications, Dr. Osagie Ehanire deserves the returnedinto the second tenure administration of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari in view of his land mark achievements which could not be in totality highlighted here due to space constraints as earlier stated, nevertheless, as I head towards conclusion, I will like to in a brief appeal to him to build on the fantastic policies and strategies he had already mapped out during his first tenure as Honorable Minister of State for Health, the landmark achievements which is by every tickling of the clock making his name to ring bell on the minds of every Nigerians both at home and abroad. Meanwhile, his second coming as the Honorable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, should be a time for the manifestation of those fantastic policies he used his first tenure as Minister of State for Health to intellectually and constructively mapped out.
Aaron Mike Odeh is an Abuja base Journalist, Human/Community Development Expert and a Public Affairs Analyst.