The Yobe government says it will spend about N1.6 billion on the ongoing construction of a Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Care Complex at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital, Damaturu.
Dr. Babagana Machina, Executive Secretary, Yobe State Primary Healthcare Management Board, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu.
He said the project had reached advanced stage of completion and would be handed over to the state by 2021.
Machina said, if completed, the facility would be used for teaching, research and referral purposes.
The executive secretary said the state had also approved the construction of 53 primary healthcare centres as part of efforts to mitigate maternal mortality and morbidity.
“Eighteen of these centres built across the state have already been completed, while 28 have reached about 80 to 90 per cent completion level.
“However, seven of them have not reached advanced stage of completion due to issues around land compensation, COVID-19 lockdown earlier in the year and other bureaucratic bottlenecks.
“Ten other centres are being built by Plan International, an NGO. On the side of government, we plan to build 94 more by 2022. Our target is to have 178 centres in the 178 political wards of the state,” he said.
On human resource development, Machina said more than 300 nurses and midwives had been engaged and deployed to various primary healthcare centres in the state.
“Government has continuously absorbed all nurses and midwives produced by Shehu Sule College of Nursing and Midwifery, Damaturu, and is engaging more from Plateau and Kaduna to address the shortage of manpower.
“Last week alone, 33 community midwives were absorbed, they did their documentation and have already been deployed across the state.
“Government had also built a 200-bed capacity hostel at the college in a drive to produce more qualified human resources to reverse the trend of maternal mortality.
“Our target is to have at least two midwives in every healthcare centre across the state,” the executive secretary said.
He said the board had recently introduced a second dose measles vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule.
Machina said 154,000 children in the state had been vaccinated against measles from Dec. 7 to Dec. 11, to reduce morbidity and mortality resulting from the disease.
“The introduction of the measles second dose to children from 15 months of age is to build population immunity against measles; it equally provides an opportunity to vaccinate children older than one year who missed their first dose of measles and other antigens.
“It will also provide an opportunity to establish the foundation for the Second Year of Life (2YL) immunisation and other primary health care interventions.
He thanked Gov. Mala-Buni for his consistent and timely support for the board. (NAN)