Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, commissioned the remodelled and renamed Saki Specialist Hospital, declaring that his administration is revolutionising the health sector in the state.
The governor, who also announced the revocation of the abandoned Saki Township road contract, which was awarded by the immediate past administration, said that the contract would be re-awarded to a more competent contractor within the next four weeks.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor stated these while commissioning the Infectious Disease Centre, Saki, an uncompleted project inherited from the last administration but now remodelled and upgraded to a 100-bed Specialist Hospital in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.
Governor Makinde stated that with the ongoing revolution in the state’s health sector, his administration will deliver 351 model primary Health Care Centres at one per electoral Ward in the state before the end of its tenure in 2023.
He stated that the current administration will go into the annals of Oyo State history as the one that turned existing and moribund health infrastructure into state-of-the-art medical facilities, saying “if Oyo State can start with attracting medical tourism from other states within Nigeria, it means that economic activities will significantly improve.”
He further said that as the government continues to upgrade health facilities in the state in line with its commitment to quality health care delivery, it will also continue to equip and maintain them and also ensure that they have the best personnel.
The governor, at the event attended by top government functionaries and the traditional institution led by the Okere of Saki, Oba Khalid Olabisi, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be back here in Saki, less than three months after our last visit to commission this Infectious Disease Centre. This facility will now be named Saki Specialist Hospital. We have invested close to half a billion Naira on this facility. And for equipment alone, we have invested over N250,000,000.”
The governor recalled how the government had rebuffed efforts to set up isolation centres in stadiums, choosing to upgrade existing medical facilities, a decision which he said has paid off greatly as shown through the success stories with the Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo and now the Saki Specialist Hospital.
He said: “When we started work on the conversion and upgrade of this facility, it was initially intended to be an Observatory, Isolation and Treatment Centre to support our efforts towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But we also had more long-term goals to ensure that it fits into our overall plan to improve the healthcare system in the nooks and crannies of Oyo State.
“When we took over last year, our healthcare system was not in the best shape. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to make the tough decisions to leverage the situation and accelerate our plans to address the dilapidating healthcare infrastructure in Oyo State.
“We were pressured to create temporary isolation centres in stadiums and other open spaces, but we remained steadfast in our resolve to upgrade existing facilities, because we saw an opportunity even in that state of despair. And this is the result of that decision.
“This infectious disease centre, as well as the one in Olodo, are direct results of our well-thought-out approach. When the history of Oyo State is written, it will be on the record that this administration turned the existing infrastructure into state-of-the-art medical facilities.”
He added: “Well, we have a lot of amenities to be proud of. I’ll just mention a few. Here, we have a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with two Gradian State-of-the-Art mechanical ventilators with humidifiers, various accessories and three patient monitors. We also have two CPAP machines with face shields and re-breather bags to deliver maximum oxygen requirements.
“Additionally, we have a 12-bed High Dependency Unit (HDU) with piped oxygen. Other facilities we have here at the Saki Infectious Disease Centre are: Twelve-bed Female General Ward, twenty-bed Male General Ward, an operating theatre and a recovery room.
“We also have some high-end laboratories and equipment that will aid research into infectious diseases. The medical community will be excited to know that we have Cobas c 111 [co-bas see triple one] analyser here now. Also, we have a Parameter Haematology [he-ma-to-lo-gy] Analyser, Clotting Profile Analyser, autoclave [or-to-clayv] and biosafety cabinet.
“So, there is a 12-bed Observatory Unit, 10-bed Isolation Unit, and seven-bed Resuscitation Unit. And to power this centre we have two diesel generators (400 KVA and 40KVA) and fourteen, 110 watts solar-street-lights for perimeter lighting. We also have a pharmacy inside, CCTV control room, mobile x-ray unit and many more.”
Governor Makinde, who made reference to how some elements in the opposition have become fond of throwing shades at his government for finishing projects the immediate past administration left uncompleted, insisted that he would always works towards ensuring that Oyo State people get value for their money, saying “it is not about starting a project and abandoning it, but finishing it is what is essential.”
He added that the government is confident that the quality of research that will be carried out at the two centres will slow down the spread of infectious diseases such as Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever, Tuberculosis and others.
This was as he appreciated the immediate past Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Professor Temitope Alonge, who is the coordinator of the state’s Isolation Centre, for the role he played in the delivery of the project.
In their separate remarks, the Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello and Prof. Alonge, described the facility as unique, stating that it will not only serve the purpose of being an observatory, isolation and treatment centre for COVID-19, it will also be put to good use as a standard health facility for other purposes.
The Commissioner said: “I want to say that our presence here today is for the commissioning of this unique centre in the history of Oyo State for observatory, isolation, and treatment centre for COVID-19 and other related epidemic diseases.
“Saki is a border town and the government is making sure that every citizen, particularly in regions like this, are given the best provisions so that they will not be subjected to the difficulty of looking for health care facilities in either neighbouring states or countries.”
Professor Alonge lauded the state government on its effort in putting up the unique facility, stating that he was convinced the health facility will supersede any other, as there is little federal presence in the Oke Ogun area.
“This edifice, which has been renovated and transformed into a beautiful health service delivery centre today, is a hard-to-reach area, which means the accessibility of the entire Oke-Ogun to this facility is what has caught your attention. And I know that there is a very little federal government presence. This will be a unique health care facility, which will supersede whatever federal hospital that has ever been given. So, I want to thank you for this laudable project.
“This complex is the most beautiful hospital system in Oyo State. Therefore, I believe the people of Oke-Ogun will forever be grateful to you for this laudable project. I also believe that the various local government chairmen who have become your spies by trying to prevent intrusions from other countries, actually helped to stem the tide of the pandemic when it was right.
“I want to believe also that most of their prayers would be heard by you and will leave the rest to your wonderful decision,” Alonge said.
While speaking, an elated Okere of Saki, commended Governor Makinde for always trying to keep his promise, stating that the hospital project is such a huge relief for a community which he said has never felt the presence of government.
The Oba said: “We have never felt the presence of government here let alone having a project like this in Oke-Ogun. Even, the hospitals that you see around were built by individual doctors residing here. We have not seen general hospitals and health centres in Saki before.
“Our governor amazes us a lot. When he makes a promise, he tries to fulfill it. Actually, there are a lot of work to be done in the Oke-Ogun zone. Before now, we go to Gbengbeleke, Paraku (Benin Republic) to take care of our health but, by the grace of God, the facility here today will take care of infectious diseases that may want to fight us.”
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde
Doctors Without Borders Spends N17.7b On Vulnerable Nigerians -Official
The Head of Mission, Doctors without Boarder, Mr Syed Tirima has said that the not-for-profit organisation has expended N17.7billion on humanitarian services to vulnerable Nigerians.
Speaking during a visit to the Minister of Police Affairs,Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, Tirima revealed that the group has been around since 1996, rendering medical support to all the geopolitical zones of the country.
According to a statement on Friday by the ministry spokesman, Bolaji Kazeem, titled, ‘Dingyadi canvasses medical support for police,’ Tirima enumerated some of the group’s activities to include free medical services to pediatrics, maternity interventions, primary health care for displaced persons, medical care for lassa fever patients, provision of clinical equipment to some hospitals, and food/nutritional support as well as support to the ministry of health through the provision of response services, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In his response, the Minister of Police Affairs, Dingyadi sought medical support for police officers and their children from the Doctors without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres to enable them to discharge their duty efficiently.
The minister stated that the police are vulnerable people who had lost many officers in the course of protecting the citizens and needed the support of everybody, including Doctors without Borders.
“I believe that you are aware that the police are one of the most vulnerable security services in the country. We have lost so many and many officers had been affected with injury. As partners in progress, we do hope you can extend some of the services to police hospitals in the country,” the minister reportedly stated.
He recalled the activities of the group while he was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health in Sokoto state years back, and thanked the organization for promoting local content through the employment of over 90 per cent of Nigerians as staff of the organisation.
Striking Resident Doctors Reject FG’s New MoU
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has rejected the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the Federal Government presented to the union.
NARD National President Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa said this while addressing reporters at the end of a closed-door meeting with the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders yesterday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) led the striking doctors to a meeting summoned at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the current strike by doctors across the country.
NAN recalls that the resident doctors embarked on an indefinite strike on August 1 to press home the issues of agitation amongst their members.
Read Also: Foundation urges Fed Govt, doctors to shift ground
Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige had, on August 13, handed over the trade dispute between the government and NARD to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication.
Uyilawa said NARD refused to sign the MoU that was brokered by its parent body, the NMA, and the Federal Government due to an undisclosed clause.
“We rejected the MoU. We didn’t sign it because we feel we are being punished for the failures of those in government,” he said.
The NARD president said the nationwide strike would continue and that the union members would proceed with the court case.
He added that NARD leadership has to present the new MoU to its members before he could sign the document.
Ngige said all other unions in the negotiation, including the NMA and the Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria (MDCN), have signed the new agreement.
MALARIA: Makinde Flags-Off Distribution Of 5m Insecticide-Treated Nets Across 33 LGs
…. says govt ‘ll continue to deliver affordable, qualitative healthcare for residents
… ‘We’ll restore Oyo as Mecca of Health care services’
Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, kick-started the distribution of five Million insecticide-treated nets to people across the 33 local governments of the state.
He also explained that his administration will continue to deliver accessible, affordable, and qualitative healthcare for all indigines and residents of the state, adding that his administration is committed to improving access to health care delivery by providing functional primary health care centre in each of the 351 electoral wards of the state.
Makinde, who was represented at the eve.t by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Abdul-mojeed Mogbonjubola, said that the distribution process of the nets will increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as declaring at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, venue of the event that the state will equally improve the health of mothers and children by reducing morbidity and mortality across communities.
He said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I stand here today to flag off the distribution of five million insecticide-treated nets that will be distributed across all the 33 Local Government Areas of the State. My presence at this occasion underscores the importance this administration has for the health and well-being of the people of the state.
“Malaria is still a public health challenge in Nigeria and Oyo State. It seriously challenges the health care needs of women and children in our communities, especially at the grassroots. This net distribution process is expected to increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites. This will further improve the health of mothers and children by reducing morbidity and mortality across communities.”
He assured that his administration will continue to provide accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare for all, especially children and women, saying that “we cannot fold our arms and bury our heads in the sand without acknowledging the sheer magnitude of weak health systems has thrust on the public.
“It is for this reason that the state deemed it necessary to put in place different health intervention which is free and assessable to the grassroots. Such intervention includes improving access to health care delivery by providing one primary health care centre per ward, improving human resources for health and providing community health insurance services Also, free education is provided by our College of Nursing and Midwifery,” he added.
The governor emphasized that his administration, in a bid to ensure that health services in the state are evidence-based, community data capturing is now electronic to ensure all grassroots households are captured and have access to health care services.
While explaining that distribution of the nets will prevent malaria, reduce the burden of malaria on the economy of the state and health care systems, he reassured that the state will intensify efforts in improving the healthcare-seeking behavior of the populace and give the right message and information needed on the use of insecticide-treated nets.
“The focus of the state government in health care service delivery is in partnership for sustainability. It is in this wise, that this administration will continue to reach out to development partners, well-meaning organizations and notable individuals within and outside the country for partnership and collaboration to implement programmes and projects that will improve the health status of the people.
“In attaining this goal, I am pleased to state here that the Oyo State Ministry of Health, Health Insurance Agency and the State Primary Health Care Board, in collaboration with our colleges are working to ensure universal health coverage at a cost-effective and sustainable way.”
He thanked the institutions that partnered with the state including USAID, PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria, for collaborating and supporting malaria activities in Oyo State hence making the net distribution possible.
“This partnership has bought us together today to flag off this round of free net distribution that is conducted every four years, the last round was in 2016. The USAID partners (PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria) supporting malaria activities in Oyo State have collaborated with the state to make this net distribution possible.
“This support is appreciated as it actually goes beyond net distribution to diagnoses and treatment of malaria.”
“Let me make it clear that it is the goal of this administration to leave a befitting legacy in the area of health care. I recall the days when Ibadan and indeed Oyo State was a Mecca of sorts for health care services. Esteemed guest pacesetters we intend to bring those days back.”
Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Funmi Salami, said that the government embarked on an advocacy drive in the media through the airing of jingles for the populace to be aware of distribution periods and benefits of making use of insecticide treated mosquito nets in their households.
She added that field workers were also engaged for the house-to-house campaign for the distribution of letters to residents, which, according to her, would enable identified people to benefit from the laudable project.
In her goodwill message, Ag Resident Adviser, USAID, Celeste Carr, admonished health workers in the state to educate pregnant women continually on the benefits they stand to derive in making use of insecticide mosquito nets at all times.
She noted that her organization pays special attention to the health status of pregnant women and children under the age of five, hence, the need for every household to key into activities that would promote healthy living in the community.
Carr, thereafter, commended the Oyo State Government for various health initiatives and its dedication to the launch of state-wide distribution of 5million insecticide mosquito nets across the state.
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