From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
One of the cardinal programmes of the All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration in Niger State since its inception in 2015 was taking health care delivery to the door steps of the people of the state irrespective of their party affiliations, tribe or religion.
The mission statement of the Ministry of Health is “to develop and implement appropriate policies and programmes as well as provide a sustainable and qualitative Health Care services, involving all the stakeholders, that are available, accessible, acceptable and affordable to the larger majority of the people especially the rural dwellers and the vulnerable group”.
It Vision was “To reduce morbidity and mortality rates due to communicable diseases to the barest minimum; reverse the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases; meet global targets on the elimination and eradication of diseases; and significantly increase the life expectancy of the people of Niger state from 54 to 75 years by the year 2020”.
It was in this regard, Governor Abubakar Sanni Bello vowed to tackle the challenges confronting the health sector with a view to ensuring that the people who gave him their mandate live healthy lives as according to him “Health is Wealth”.
With vigour, the governor has embarked on a bottom up approach in tackling the catalogue challenges identified in the health sector which have started yielding the desired results.
According to a verifiable statistic of capital projects funding for the health sector in the state, obtained from the ministry of health, project monitoring and evaluation unit, a huge sum of money have been expanded in the provision of affordable health care delivery to the teeming people of the state.
The facilities are not only affordable but accessible, because each of the 274 Political Wards in the state has a Primary Health Care Center (PHCCs) to attend to their health care needs; hence the people within the areas are assured 24 hours services.
Governor Sanni Bello led administration started with the Remodeling of General hospitals at Suleja and Kontongora which are expected to gulp over N3.5billion at the completion of which the Contractors have been mobilized up to the tune of 50%.
The state commenced the Upgrading of School of Nursing, Bida at the cost of N290,480,766.88 out of which the contractor has been paid the sum of N100,000,000.00 with work at 48% completion.
A Consultancy fees of stage 1 & 2 in respect of the remodeling of general hospitals at Kontagora and Suleja to the tune of each was paid and work at the various project sites are now at 75% while the renovation and equipping of six focal Primary Health Care Centres (PHCCs) at Beri and Ebbo are now at the 25% completion and the cost of the projects was N19.8billion.
Another six focal Primary Health care centers (PHCCs) at Maje and Kaboji were awarded to various contractors costing N11,568,500.00 and N11,051,600.20 respectively, with works at 25% completion. Just as six focal PHCCs at Doko and Beji respectively were carried out at the cost of N14, 009,500.15 and N7, 406,450.00 with works at 75% and 100% completion.
The state government also beamed its search light on the construction of Laboratory complex at general hospital Minna with additional works/variation for the construction and equipping of Maternal and New Neonatal wing of general hospital, gulping N64, 160,418.00 and N188,310,377.23 with works at 95% and 100% completed.
In its bid to ensure health for all, the state government also conducted MTN foundation (MTNF) Yellow Doctors medical intervention scheme (YDMMIS) in the state across six Local areas of the state with counterpart funding of N13,895,500 as well supported the Rapid Diagnostic test kits and laboratory consumables (SACA) with the sum of N22,729,725.08.
Meanwhile, the present government of Abubakar Sani Bello had spent millions of naira as medical assistance to many Nigerlites while about 486 people have benefitted from seed money to provide health services to the people free of charge.
Furthermore, the state government approved the sum of N3,181,500.00 through direct labour for the construction of a laboratory in Primary Health care Center,(PHC) at Fuka in Munya local government area of the state just as the balance payment to contractors who carried out the renovation of Kutigi General Hospital phase ii project was settled with the sum of N37,109,596.00 with works 100% completed.
Through direct labour, the state government effected the repairs of blown off roof and renovation of damaged staff quarters at general hospital Kuta at the cost of N22,899,266.00 with the works 100% completed. The Minna Social Rehabilitation Centre was Re-roofed at the cost of N7,090,078.60 and completed. While the renovation of IBB Specialist Hospital was carried with the sum of N157,337,554.40. The work is at 85% completion and a balance of N62,935,021.80 due for the contractor.
College of Nursing Science, Kontogora benefitted from the state government intervention to the health sector with the construction of a larger capacity Auditorium gulping N149,072,072.14. The work is at 45% completion with balance of N37,268,018.00 to be paid to the contractor.
The College of Nursing Science received Library Furniture’s and books, procured by the state government with N16,357.000.00 projected completed.
Another sum of N21,450,000.00 was expanded on the procurement of Laboratory equipment for the college of Nursing Science, while the sum of N24,970,000.00 was spent on the procurement of Administrative Block furniture at the same college to facilitate accreditation of it courses by the relevant federal government supervising agency in addition to the classrooms furniture worth N55,550,000.00. The jobs have been 100% completed.
The college new Auditorium was furniture’s with the sum of N24,772,000.00 . With additional works at Neonatal hospital Minna such as Oxygen piping, Pharmacy unit partitioning and construction of soak away through direct labor costing N80,052,640.00 while Mattress, pillows, beddings and drilling of solar power borehole at IBB Specialist Hospital, Minna cost N10,748,750.00 .
The state government paid the sum of N96,291,150.00 to the protesting suppliers of building materials to maternal and neonatal hospital, Minna as well as sponsorship to attend international confederation of Midwives (ICM) trigeminal congress, Toronto, Canada doling out the sum of N6,923,634.05k during this first tenure.
The young man at the head of affairs of the ministry, Dr. Mustapha Mohammed Jibrin supported by his Permanent Secretary, Dr Muhammad Makun Sidi has been up and doing, giving the necessary leadership to ensure that tremendous achievement of the ministry thus as far is maintained, however, they described the ministry as ‘one family’.
Beside the team of the various professionals in the health ministry, Niger state first lady, Dr.Aminat Sanni Bello, a gynecologist, specialized on maternal and neonatal has made it a routine to attend to pregnant mothers every Wednesday of the week at the Jummai Babangida Aliyu Maternal and Neonatal Hospital, Minna.
These services she rendered including surgical are at no cost to the state government. In addition, her NGO, RAISE Foundation has contributed in no small measures in the upliftment of women and girls in the rural areas since her husband assumed the mantle of leadership in the state.