I want a public health facilities where I can confidently take myself and my family to for medicals – Gov Yahaya Bello
The Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Usman Zakari Alhaji was a guest on Shregarf RadioVision’s programme “THE TOUCH LIGHT” anchored by Ahammed Shaba, the Honourable Commissioner was able to breakdown details of all we need to know in the health sector under the Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello’s New Direction Government.
Part of the interview can be seen below.
The reason for our continued decay in sustainability of infrastructure is that new governments never bother to check projects intervened by the previous governments, there are fifty-four (54) functional hospitals in Kogi state today, we have to look around for alternate resources mechanisms to maintain these hospitals without always waiting for government,
This government is looking at facilities that has been hitherto been touched by previous governments but the difference is that this government goes out to inspect if there are things needed to be done in these hospitals, this is evident in the specialist hospital in Lokoja.
We also need to have community ownership of these facilities, in times past, community youths go to the hospitals to clean the surroundings we need to bring that back to our consciousness because the health is everybody’s concern, the hospital itself should be self-sustaining.
The Governor has ordered medical emergencies and no hospital would be left untouched, we would move to the next phase when we are done with Constructions, Renovations and upgrading that is going on across the state at the moment, I can assure you that his Excellency is not tired and not ready to stop now.
Kogi State Governor His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello, said “I will not intervene in the building or renovation of a hospital that I cannot attend for medical issues” and that’s why you can see a lot of facilities in the hospitals today, the idea was “Think Foreign but act Local” and this is addressing three different things which are providing quick, effective and adequate health services to the people, to prevent medical tourism and also to develop a level of human resources.
So the foreign facilities are for our local people , the Governor’s mandate is to ensure that the hospitals are propelled by persons that are technically sound, trained and certified, so that people won’t have to pay for healthcare delivery (catastrophic health expenditure) and he’s doing all he can to prevent that ,
The State Health Insurance Agency has been kicked off fully, equally there’s also the Bello Healthcare Initiative(BHI) providing care for all kogites especially women, children, the elderly and people living with disabilities.
These healthcare facilities are distributed into three (3) tiers which one is the Primary Healthcare Development Agency that entails the primary healthcare Centre that manage damage control, basic life supports and others.
Next is the secondary facility where we have our general hospitals, manage issues around the second tier where the laboratories are fully equipped so they can carry out any form of intervention like emergency surgeries or elective.
The third is the tertiary, like the reference hospital in Okene for the first time in Nigeria or even west Africa we have a hospital based Hyperbaric Oxygen-based chamber, we also have an Oxygen plant where we are generating our oxygen in the state and also plan of distributing to other states that are ready to buy, also an MRI machine that is 1.5 tesla. Which means that diagnostics can now be made in the state, we also have a CT scan machine a 928slight, we also have a dialysis machine and with the amount of manpower put in there, renal transplant would no longer go out of Kogi state.
Talking about what the governor doing differently?’ Hon Usman in his words, “we just keyed into the vision of his Excellency” he declared emergency in the health sector, over the years there’s been improvement in various levels and the Governor has taken it to a whole new level. What we should do differently is imbibe the maintenance culture of all government infrastructures, I want to create mass of next generation civil servants that can think for the betterment of our people and for effective impact in healthcare, we also need to look at capacity development of next generation healthcare workers, we need to think sustainability of these infrastructures, we are already working on how the system would be self-sustaining yet affordable, also community involvements in sustaining these facilities.
In his final words, the Commissioner for Health Kogi State said, I am humbled, flattered and forever grateful for the widespread acceptance of my appointment as commissioner for health, First of all I want to appreciate His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, for finding me worthy for this position, I want to thank Kogites for their vote of confidence even before I began and I want to solicit your support and prayers for the Governor of the state, for all leaders who are also his lieutenants to be able to sustain this new drive towards developing our state, I love you all, I love you my wife, I love everybody, thank you.