The Borno State Government says it has spent over N8 billion on reconstruction and rehabilitation of health facilities destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that health sector is one of the areas worst hit by the insurgency as the large scale destruction of facilities has paralysed medical services in the state.
Statistics by the United Nation Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) shows that 6.9 million people need healthcare interventions in the North-East due to humanitarian crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.
According to the UN agency, a greater percentage of those in need are in Borno, who cannot access quality healthcare services especially in rural communities.
In an attempt to mitigate the effects and transform the sector, the Borno Government in collaboration with the federal government and development organisations embarked on massive reconstruction and rehabilitation of projects to enhance healthcare delivery at the grassroots.
The state government had spent over N4 billion on procurement of medical equipment and another N4 billion on rehabilitation of 248 health facilities ravaged by the terrorists.
The state Commissioner of Health, Haruna Mishelia, said the insurgents had destroyed over 80 per cent of healthcare facilities, including 19 General Hospitals, which he said, crippled healthcare delivery in the state.
Mr. Mshelia, however, said that in spite of the security challenges posed by the insurgency, the state government initiated viable projects designed to reinvigorate the sector and enhance quality healthcare delivery to the people.
He said the projects were executed in the liberated communities in the 27 local government areas in the past two years, adding that rehabilitation and upgrading works on 19 general hospitals were successfully completed.
The commissioner listed the projects to include the general hospitals in Guzamala, Rann, Chibok, Uba, Biu, Askira, Kwayar-Kusar, Mafa, and Dikwa general hospitals.
Others are: Mobbar; Shani, Marama, Munguno, Damboa, Ngala, Benisheikh, Konduga, Ngarannam, Kaga, Gwoza and Kukawa general hospitals, adding that plans had reached advanced stage for the establishment of eight new general hospitals in addition to the existing 24.
He said eight general hospitals had so far been equipped with modern equipment to enhance their operations, and they included Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital; Moloi, Shani, Biu, Benisheikh, Gubio, Konduga and Dikwa general hospitals.
“Two other hospitals at Azare and Gajiram have been upgraded to 80-bed Capacity, while work on a 250-bed capacity women and children Hospital was completed,” he said.
Mr. Mshelia also disclosed that N4.2 billion was spent on procurement of medical equipment such as radio diagnostic and scanning machines, ethno-cardiographs, mammography and digital X-ray gadgets.
According to him, the equipment would be distributed to Accident and Emergency (A&E) and Intensive Care Units in the hospitals.
On immunisation and disease control, the commissioner said over N200 million was spent to replenish the paediatrics department at Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri, as well as rehabilitation of the Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) office.
He said the state government was collaborating with Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation as well as Dangote Foundation to enhance routine immunisation.
Under the partnership over $1 million dollars were spent rehabilitation and provision of medical equipment to 40 clinics.
Equally, about one million people were inoculated against cholera; 1.3 million children immunised against polio and measles; 888, 905 children and expectant mothers provided with free malaria drugs and 2.1 mosquito nets were distributed to households.
“Through our partnership, we are able to control outbreak of epidemics such as cholera, meningitis and Hepatitis E,” Mr. Mshelia said.
He also disclosed that the state government was providing free drugs in all the health facilities and had introduced integrated healthcare services in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
He said the state government had recruited 100 doctors and awarded scholarship to 60 female medical students to address the manpower shortage in the health sector.
Statistics by the state Ministry of Health shows that there are 4,800 health workers in the state, comprising 158 doctors; 1, 094Nurses and Midwives; 29 laboratory scientists; 150 laboratory Technicians; 250 community health attendants and 12 pharmacists.(NAN)