To outsmart fake drug dealers in Bayelsa State, Governor Seriake Dickson has directed the commissioner for health and acting head of service to ensure that all public health institutions in the state get their supplies from the state-owned facility.
The governor, who demonstrated his commitment towards the fight against fake drugs, had inspected pharmaceutical products at the state-owned Drug Distribution Centre on Monday.
His Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, said that the governor carried out the inspection in company of a crack team of pharmacists, medical doctors and other health professionals shortly after declaring open a two-day drug trade fair in Yenagoa.
At the event, Dickson said that his administration’s target was to make Bayelsa a medical tourist destination, where healthcare seekers could meet their needs at affordable cost.
He noted that it was for this purpose that the administration had been investing on world-class health facilities and programmes, including the state health insurance scheme, which has been adjudged one of the best in the country.
While expressing appreciation to the organisers of the trade fair, the governor noted with delight that over 40 pharmaceutical firms were participating at the fair, reportedly the first ever in the country.
According to the governor, the distribution centre is primarily targeted at curbing the circulation of fake drugs in Bayelsa and neighbouring states.
He called on Nigerians to emulate former President Olusegun Obasanjo by patronising medical facilities in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof Ebitimitula Etebu, explained that the trade fair was organised to promote interaction among stakeholders in the health sector, to keep them abreast of the ever-changing trends in pharmaceutics.
Prof. Etebu, the vice chancellor of the newly established Bayelsa State University of Medical Sciences, commended the governor for supporting the health ministry to complete the centre.
On his part, the state coordinator of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Joseph Edoh, said that the establishment of the centre would not only enhance the operations of NAFDAC, but also address the chaotic drug distribution channel in the state.