By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday directed the Head of Service of the Federation and the Budget Office to consider an increase in the personnel and overhead allocation of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
The President issued the directive at the virtual inauguration of capital projects executed at UMTH, in response to a specific request by the Board and Management of the hospital.
President Buhari noted that the increase in personnel and allocation at UMTH would optimise services provided by the activation of the new projects.
Among landmark projects commissioned by the President are a newly constructed and fully equipped 150-bed Trauma Centre, a new General Outpatient Department, a complex for National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), a multipurpose Auditorium and Conference Centre constructed and furnished by Prof. Babagana Zulum, the Governor of Borno State.
President Buahri also commissioned a new hostel for the UMTH School of Nursing, constructed by the Federal government.
The President noted that the value of the projects at the UMTH, which is a Centre of Excellence in Infectious diseases and Immunology in Nigeria, to the nation’s health care system cannot be underestimated, especially in the era of global health system challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the completion of the capital projects aptly reflects the Federal government’s commitment to sustaining development in the North East, and indeed in all parts of the country to engender economic growth, peace and progress.
‘’Emerging diseases have made it necessary for all nations to increase and improve resource application for coping with the challenges or adapting to the ‘new normal’.
‘’This goes on in Borno State side by side with efforts to tackle insurgency and criminal activities,’’ he said.
On the 150-bed Trauma centre which comes with a helipad, the President expressed delight that it will provide modern multidisciplinary care facilities to injured persons from within and outside Maiduguri, in addition to reducing the need for referral to other centres.
President Buhari said that the intention of the government to render affordable quality health care with broad coverage will be boosted with the completion of the General Outpatient Department and the NHIS complex.
Urging citizens to take advantage of the improved facility, the President appealed to operators of these excellent facilities to imbibe the maintenance culture and ensure optimum utilization.
President Buhari also commended the collaborative programmes of the teaching hospital with indigenous, international, non-governmental bilateral and multilateral donors and partners, like the Physical Rehabilitation Centre, which is a product of the engagement with the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC.
‘’This Centre is now fully operational in this era of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement in Borno State.