By Suleiman Adamu, Sokoto
Federal government says is driving to ensure the repatriation of knowledge and skills to improve the country’s health system as well enable it rank among the highest best in the world.
The Minister of Health , Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed weekend in Sokoto where he commissioned numerous health developmental projects initiated and executed by the management of the Usman Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto.
He said the federal government the drive is being piloted with the active collaboration of a team of Nigeria’s health experts to improve health system for the benefit of citizens.
According to the Minister, government budgetary provision for the health sector has over time enabled huge investment in the sector to strengthen the system for quality and affordable health care services to Nigerians.
He said government is resolute at repositioning the sector , pointing out that ” one of the critical areas of concern is to reverse the challenge of brain-drain being experienced not only in Nigeria but globally.
” Also government is doing everything possible to look into improving the remuneration of health personnel as well stop the exodus of our professionals. We are also not unmindful of the pending issues of health allowances. Though, is within the purview of the Ministry of Finance and relevant organs . It entails some processes for implementation “, he said.
Accordingly, Ehanire noted that Nigeria’s maternal mortality statistical record was not encouraging , reiterating that all secondary and tertiary health institutions must be strengthen adding that ” we shall soon inaugurate the National Emergency Medical Services Centre. By this addition, Nigeria will be capable of taking care of its people medically.”
Hitherto, the Minister after inspecting the state advanced medical diagnostics centre , noted that Sokoto state government was doing well in healthcare delivery services , stressing that” the facilities I saw, suggests that the state has a bright future because Tambuwal is interested in health care issues .
” We are into an MoU with the state government in that direction “, he said.
Ehanire who was conducted round the centre by the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ali Inname observed that the state of the art facility stands the state out for the modern equipments as MRI, CT Scan, Flouroscopy, Digital X-ray, Mamography, Echo Cardiography , Dental, Digital Ultra sound and EEG/Neurology Clinic components provided .
Speaking, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal commended the hospital for initiating such projects that would bridge the gap and serve as dependable facilities for providing health services to humanity.
He said Sokoto state government had prioritised the health sector through active interventions and collaborations that enabled the construction of facilities across the state .
” We have constructed 3 premier hospitals, in addition to existing general hospitals , dispensaries and PHCs and the State University Teaching Hospital with 1,200 bed capacity . All these are aimed at improving basic, secondary and tertiary health needs of our people even beyond.”
Tambuwal represented by Dr. Ali Inname, Commissioner of Health disclosed that already, the state government had rolled out it’s State Emergency Medical Services Ambulance system to further strengthen it’s health system capacity.
Inname, however, urged people of the state who are yet to take their Covid-19 vaccines to present selves , disclosing that there are 350,406 doses of different vaccines in stock.
Inname regrettably said ” we are only able to attain 22.4% percent of the 80% target coverage.”
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital , Prof. Anas Ahmed Sabir, explained that the hospital with 900 bed capacity was established 33 years ago to strategically serve as referral centre to catchment states of Sokoto,Kebbi and Zamfara has 2462 staff and 136 consultants.
He said the newly commissioned projects were initiated to strengthen the hospital health and other specialised services in Radio-Oncology, Neurosurgery, Urology, Opthalmology and Open heart surgery.
” It is our hope that the provision of these projects will improve services and reduce medical tourism within and outside Nigeria”, he said .
Dr. Sabir further outlined some of the challenges of the hospital to include: inadequate manpower which worsened the statistics of brain-drain, unstable electricity supply leading to breakdown of generating machines and the aging amenities that affects the provision of the required health services .
He commended the Minister, Sokoto state government, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and other critical partners for advancing the course of the hospital to standard in service delivery.