As Buhari Inaugurates N21bn Presidential Medical Center
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
Wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has said henceforth, the Nigerian President would not need to travel overseas for medical treatment with the inauguration of the new N21 billion Presidential/VIP Wing of the State House Medical Center at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Speaking at the brief inauguration ceremony on Friday, First Lady Aisha Buhari, who accompanied her husband to the event, noted that the facility will stop the need for the president and his family members to go abroad for medical treatment.
The First Lady, who spoke to journalists after President Buhari had cut the tape and concluded a guided tour of the facility, said she bought the idea of executing the project six years ago, following the extended stay of her husband abroad for medical treatment.
She said now that the facility is in place, Nigerian Presidents and their family members will no longer need to go abroad for treatment but may only fly medical experts to assist their colleagues in the country.
Asked her impression of the new medical center, she said: “I’m quite happy, feeling fulfilled. Though we are leaving but all the same, we thank God the project has come to reality.
“I have opted for it six years now. I initiated this project idea six years ago when my husband spent three months abroad, consecutively, 90 days. And it shouldn’t be because we have all the experts in Nigeria. We only need a good platform.
“The hospital that is supposed to serve the First Family is serving like 35,000 people which is quite much.
“That’s why I insisted we should have a VIP Wing within the proximity of the presidential villa.”
On whether the medical centre will now make it unnecessary for Nigerian leaders to go abroad for treatment, she responded: “Yes. This one is for the health and wellness of the First Family. They don’t need to go abroad now. They only need to may be fly in experts to help our people. You know.
“So, no need for any leader to spend months and months abroad because of health care.”
The N21 billion, state-of-the-facility commissioned by President Buhari spans a total floor area of 2,485 square meters, on a suspended floor with a basement, the hospital, which serves as a specialized Intensive Care Centre, caters for the President, Vice President, their immediate families and VIPs.
The hospital incorporates state-of-the-art medical technology.
The Presidential/VIP Wing houses several specialized departments, to be staffed by a team of medical professionals, featuring five consultation rooms dedicated to various specialties, including respiratory, cardiology, ophthalmology, ENT, and general consultation.
Additionally, the hospital has a specialized X-ray suite equipped with a digital X-ray machine as well as a diagnostic suite encompassing MRI, CT scan, and endoscopy facilities.
Moreover, patients and visitors can enjoy access to a Healing Garden, designed to foster healing, relaxation, and enhancement of overall well-being.
The Presidential/VIP Wing completed well on schedule and on budget, also showcases a Catheterization Laboratory (Cath lab), two operating rooms for regular procedures, and special procedures such as organ transplants.
The Permanent Secretary of the State House, Tijjani Umar, described the medial center as “a one stop shop for the provision of medical services.”
He said it offers a range of medical facilities, adding that it will be a yardstick for the provision of quality healthcare to all Nigerians.
Umar, thanked the First Lady for her unmatched advocacy and support and also thanked President Buhari for achieving the construction on schedule and on budget.
Health Professionals Urge Sani to Prioritise Sector in Kaduna
Some experts in the health sector have advised the new Governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, to prioritise the sector in order to improve the well-being of the citizens.
The health experts spoke on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Madaki Sheyin, Kaduna State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), urged the new governor to reverse the trend of brain drain that hit the State especially in the last six years.
According to Sheyin, he should prioritise the health sector because of its importance to the masses.
“Emphasis must be made on human capital development; without a good human resource whatever structures built will not bring the needed gain or positive change,” he said.
He added that training and development, career progression and other incentives would attract manpower to the state.
“Kaduna needs to retain its best hands in the sector and attract many more through improved welfare packages.
“Also, attention must be given to capacity building and development with the right kind of equipment and infrastructure put in place.
“A needs assessment should be done and consultations with relevant stakeholders carried out with the stakeholders being carried along in various stages of policy development and implementation.
He added that public private partnership (PPP) was worth looking at, to curb wastage and improve service delivery and efficiency in the sector.
Dr Nuhu Yusuf, another medical doctor, said improved staff welfare, good working conditions should be one of the priorities the governor should have.
He added that the governor should build good state- of- the- art facilities in the state.
“Fully equipped hospitals, like those obtained in developed countries with modern equipment and should discourage increase in medical tourism.’’
Mr Morakinyo Rilwan, National Chairman, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, said the governor should embark on mass employment of nurses and doctors.
“The “japa” syndrome affected health workers in Kaduna seriously and their “japaing” is not to overseas, but to neighbouring states that pay better.
“We congratulate the new administration of governor Sani and our prayers are that God Almighty will guide him to do what is beneficial to the populace.
“However, the expectations of health workers in Kaduna state are not different from what was presented to him during the campaign period when he met with Kaduna state health workers forum and the presentation to the transition committee on May 16.
“So, he should try as much as possible to keep to his campaign promises.
“Hazard allowance should be reviewed upward and we expect him to be workers-friendly unlike his predecessor and dialogue with them on areas that may seem difficult to accomplish.”
He added that health workers, especially nurses suffered in the hands of kidnappers due to lack of security in the hospital and some of these facilities had no perimeter fence.
“Upward review of workers allowances as a motivation for those who are ready to stay back.
“Lastly, he should pay all the arrears of unions and Association check off dues not remitted, to allow professional associations to concentrate on their activities and pay their workers.
“Health facilities should be upgraded with adequate consumables and other working tools,’’ he said. (NAN)
FG Restates Commitment to Increasing Access to Family Planning Programmes
The Federal Government has restated its commitment to enunciating policies that would increase access to family planning programmes for couples.
Dr Boladale Alonge, Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, restated the commitment on Wednesday in Abuja while declaring open the 2023 Annual Family Planning Technical Review meeting.
Alonge was represented by an official of the ministry, Mrs Bako Aiyegbusi.
Ayegbusi said the Federal Government was determined to eliminate challenges militating against the uptake of family planning programmes.
She explained that the meeting would offer opportunities to close gaps existing in family planning advocacy and implementation.
“It is pertinent to note that the Federal Ministry of Health is working to expand access to family planning commodities.
“The Federal Government has developed policies to ensure that every couple has access to family planning programmes,’’ she said.
She expressed gratitude to UN Population Fund and to other multilateral partners for their support and assured that cultural beliefs and other barriers militating against family planning would be overcome.
In her remarks, Mrs Roseline Ode, Practice Area Lead, Family Planning/Reproductive Health Society for Family Health (an international NGO), said the meeting was necessary to scale up services for family planning.
Ode described family planning as fundamental to reducing maternal mortality rate and promoting the production of qualitative children.
She noted that family planning was imperative for couples the world over.
Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman, Technical Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, another international NGO, said that progress was being made in the implementation of “Family Planning-2030’’ goals.
Oji affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to achieving unmet needs for family planning, which he said was paramount in realising the 27 per cent commitment by Nigeria. (NAN)
Expert Attributes Pelvic Inflammation in Women to Poor Menstrual Hygiene
Dr Abdullahi Kabiru, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi (ATBUTH), has attributed the cases of pelvic inflammation infection among women to poor menstrual hygiene.
According to him, pelvic inflammation infections are caused by poor sanitary attitude among women, especially the use of unclean sanitary pads.
Kabiru stated this in an interview in Bauchi on Wednesday, saying other infections likely to affect such women are urinary track infection (UTI) and viginal infections.
“Without menstrual hygiene, women are at risk of infections such as the inflammation of the pelvic among others,” he said.
“Communities and parents need to be sensitised on the imperative of menstrual hygiene and management to make women at ease and interact freely in the society,” he added.
“The social, economic and psychological challenges experienced by women during menstruation can led to depression because girls and women are stigmatised,” he said.
He stressed that long-term consequences of the infections could led to issues around pregnancy.
He, therefore, advocated for access to water, disposal items and friendly menstrual toilets in schools to promote good hygiene during the monthly cycles among girls.
He further called for collective effort by the communities and parents towards supporting women to fight all forms of stigmatisation that could lead to depression among them. (NAN)
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