Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Friday said the state’s Contributory Health Insurance Scheme had ensured improved access to healthcare and decline in child and maternal mortality.

He stated this when the wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Victoria Irabor, visited the Government House in Asaba.

Okowa lauded Irabor for contributing to the healthcare and well-being of children and families.

He said that his administration had impacted on lives of the people through infrastructure development in the health sector and payment of insurance premium for pregnant women and children under five years.

According to Okowa: “Anything that is going to help improve the health of our people, improves the general well-being of the family….

“We know particularly that most hospitals play a lot of role in attending to the health needs of our women and children.

“As you attend to the health needs of our women and children, you are actually attending to the totality of the family.

“So, we want to thank you for the Cottage Hospital that you have built at Ute-Erumu in Ika North East Local Government Area.

“There is no doubt that the health of our people is very important and the health indices of this nation cannot be said to be the best globally.

“So, any assistance toward helping to improve on the health indices that will enable us to improve globally is worthwhile.

“Concerning the health sector, we have tried to impact on the lives of our people.

“We have done a lot of things in this state to improve on the lives of our people.

“Early enough in our administration, in 2016, we have passed the legislation under contributory health scheme.”

Okowa said that the health insurance had been functional and that people paid their premium on health insurance to enable them access healthcare.

He added: “Our government decided to pay the premium of our pregnant women and children under the age of five.

“Since January 2017, we have constantly paid the premium of our pregnant women and children and I think it has helped to improve the health of pregnant women and children.

“It’s a programme that we cherish and we know that it’s already helping to reduce the under-five mortality rate and our people are happy for it.

“We thank you for recognising all that this administration has done in the health sector and we know that we are leaving the sector better than we met it.”

Okowa thankedsecurity agencies for their contributions to peace, stability and economic development of the state.

He said: “Delta State particularly has been relatively peaceful and I must publicly thank our security men.

“In the last eight years, they have done a lot of work; great cooperation between the government and the officers and their men.

“It has helped us a lot.

“The peace in the state has continued to attract a lot of people into Asaba that our population is now growing astronomically.

“It has grown to the extent that it is difficult to get lands anywhere in Asaba.”

The Governor said that for the existing peace, development had been extended to communities around Asaba and environs.

He added: “Even other parts of the state are not left out because Delta State has several growing cities, not like some states where you have few cities.

“So, these security men have a lot to do because of the many cities.”

Earlier, the wife of the CDS said that she came with her delegation to inaugurate a cottage hospital she built at Ute-Eremu in Ika North-East Local Government Area of the state.

Mrs. Irabor commended the governor for his outstanding accomplishments in the development of the state.

She said that posterity would be kind to Okowa for the massive infrastructure developments across the state.