By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Yobe state Governor Ibrahim Geidam Thursday night in Sokoto said his administration inherited a health sector characterised by gross decline in indicators as he disclosed that it had expended N2.3 billion as medical interventions on over 4,200 citizens of the state with chronic health conditions between 2010 to date.
According to the governor\’ the beneficiaries were those with chronic medical conditions needing advanced medical interventions and referral services both at home and abroad.\’
Geidam made the disclosure in a goodwill message at the opening of the 51st Annual Conference of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria(SOGON) shortly after he was conferred with an Honorary status Membership of the Society.
He said the health sector indicators in the state were at the inception of his government in 2009 practically at a decline due to neglect by successive past administrations.
\’ Realising these inadequacies, we declared a state of emergency in the health sector and took far reaching steps to address the problems militating against health care delivery such as prevalence of vaccine preventable diseases like polio, malaria, measles, CSM and prevalence of infant and maternal mortality among others in addition to addressing inadequacies of infrastructure in our state health system\’, mentioned. These steps were further strenghtened to effectively ensure efficient collaboration with development partners through the state\’s health institutions, ministry and establishments with a view to achieving the desired goals.
To this end, the governor said it has a total of 528 health facilities with 327 offering routine immunization, seven comprehensive centres and 85 dispensaries subsequently upgraded to the status of maternal and child welfare clinics each with an ambulance as well established 14 General Hospitals with three additional in in Geidam, Gashua and Potiskum, all renovated, rehabilitated and equipped respectively.
\’All these were proactively rejuvenated by our policies and programmes framework through specialised supervisory roles of the various organs in the health sector\’, he stated.
The governor further disclosed that the state government has initiated the establishment of a basket fund to further improve PHC\’s activities across the state, explaining that\’ the fund is being implemented under an MoU with the Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote foundations.\’
Accordingly, Geidam said his government provides free services to accident victims for the first 48hrs and free treatment to victims of insurgency.
In the same vein, he said the state government vigorously ensured full accreditation for all courses at the Dr. Shehu Sule College of Nursing, Damaturu and the State College of Health Sciences, Nguru with the aim at meeting the low and middle level health personnel needs of the State.
While noting that the conference would avail experts and professionals the derivable benefits of cross fertilising ideas that would propel the health care delivery at states and country levels to standards, Governor Geidam said it was coming at a time when the wind of reform was fast blowing and touching on every sector of national life.
He however, acknowledged with excitement, SOGON\’s dispassionate recognition and appreciation of what Yobe state has been doing towards improving the health of women women and children, hitherto, in revitalising its health sector.
\’I am also glad to note that this is what informed the decision of the Council of SOGON to confer on me the status of its Honourary Member of Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria. May I therefore seize this opportunity to register our profound appreciation to SOGON over the donation of medical equipment and consumables to some of our Primary Health Care centres as part of its effort to support our recovery phase from the Boko Haram insurgency\’, he expressed.