Bringing New Direction to Life Through Revitalization of The Health Sector in Kogi State

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Since his assumption of office as the Governor of Kogi State, Alh. Yahaya Bello has shown a strong commitment to turn the state health sector around for improved services for the wellbeing of the people of the State. This is being achieved by putting in place Policies and programs that are geared towards promoting the health of the citizenry.
This is being achieved through a scale-up of public health activities as well as improved services at health facilities at all levels. Some of the programmes initiated to improve maternal and child health include provision of free maternal, neonatal and child health services.
Of course, the Governor understands that health is wealth, and as a leader, it is his responsibility to ensure that the people of the state not only practice healthy living, but are also provided with quality health care services at the most affordable rates. This is why the Bello-led government has continued to develop and implement policies, programmes, as well as undertake other necessary actions that will further strengthen the State health care delivery system to deliver effective, accessible, efficient, affordable and people-friendly health services.
Few months into this administration, Governor Bello beamed his focus on infrastructural development of hospitals and primary health care centres.  It began with the procurement of drugs and cutting edge medical equipment in major health care facilities in the three senatorial districts.
The Confluence Advanced Medical Diagnostic and Imaging Center (CAMDIC)  in Lokoja is already at 95%  completion with all equipments including CT and MRI Scanner alongside other advanced medical equipments already purchased and ready for installation. This center, when completed will be one of the best Diagnostic and Imaging Center in the country and will reduce medical tourism outside Nigeria.
Suffice to mention that at the beginning of this administration also, students of  Medicine at the Kogi State University were at a crossroad. The University Teaching Hospital was substandard and therefore not fit to train doctors. Government had to ensure that the years and resources committed by students during their first three years were not wasted. It intervened and got admissions for the affected students to go for their clinical trainings in good universities within the country.
But we are aware that a lasting solution is necessary to ensure that the state university is able to train students for medical practice. The University Teaching Hospital Anyigba is undergoing changes that will position it to compete favorably amongst top teaching hospitals in the country.
The Governor Bello administration has also carried out a Remodeling and Re-equiping of Science and Medical Laboratories at the College of Health Sciences and Technology Idah to meet modern day requirements. The laboratory has been adjudged the best among its  peers in the country. Also, the School of Nursing, Obangede is not left out as the government has embarked on total upgrade of the institution. Renovation work across the entire campus has reached 80% completion stage. With new hostels at 60% completion stage as well as different stages of completion for other aspects of the upgrade and remodeling of the school.
Before 2016, Kogi State ranked highest among states with very low emergency response system, due to lack of facilities, victims of accidents and other emergency health cases find it difficult to access emergency care. Again, Governor Bello intervened by purchasing 12 ambulances through the SDGs office which was distributed to public health centers, with nine more about to be purchased to complement the existing ones. These ambulances are lifesaving assets and critical complement to the efficient functioning of the emergency unit.
Over the years, we have witnessed emergency situations which require timely movement of victims to appropriate medical facilities. Keeping in mind that every minute matters in securing the lives of people involved in these incidents, ambulances naturally become an efficient and reliable option in those situations.
The New Direction Agenda on Health has as one of its mandate, to reduce Infant Mortality to less than 10 per 1000 live births. Efforts in this area includes Promotion of, and Preventive Healthcare measures, provision of assorted pediatric drugs (including antibiotics, antimalarial agents, food supplements/hematinics etc) which have been distributed to Primary Health Care centers across the state.
The first round of Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) week which held between 30/07/2018 & 03/08/2018 saw the provision of free Health interventions like HIV Testing Services, Antenatal care, Malaria prevention De-worming, Routine Immunization, Birth Registration among others.
In the last two years, 302 people have  benefited from the Social Security Fund for Indigent people totaling the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira from the Special Health Intervention Fund to treat several health challenges.
To further improve the people’s access to quality and affordable healthcare services, the Governor approved the recruitment of doctors, nurses, and other staffs to fill in various positions available at health centers across the state.
The latest recruitment of medical personnel follows interviews conducted by the state ministry of health.
They include medical doctors, consultants, nurses and other categories of specialists and professional medical workers. They have since begun to provide medical and clinical services to the public.
It is pertinent to note that these milestones of Governor Yahaya Bello, which are inexhaustible, were achieved at the most trying times in the history of Kogi State with limited resources, which are  distributed across all sectors to even the development across the state.
However, the goal is already set in the New Direction Agenda, and with the strong political will displayed by Governor Yahaya Bello in the health sector so far, we are confident that in the near future, he may be able to achieve the feat of universal health suffrage in Kogi State.
– Petra Akinti Onyegbule 
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

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