Address By Honourable. Minister Of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, At The Official Commissioning Of Landmark Projects At University Of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital On 19th November, 2020.

Protocols

I am honoured and privileged to be at the official commissioning by His Excellency the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, of important projects executed at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. Today’s event is a reflection of the Nigerian government commitment to modern and efficient healthcare delivery, and a testimony to the inspiration operators in the healthcare space derive from the President's dedication to developing Nigeria.

2.    Many countries on the globe experienced severe challenge to their health systems with the covid-19 pandemic, since early this year, which brought not a few nations almost to their knees and resulted in near collapse of routine health services. Our health system was strained but survived and has been able to weather the storm thus far. Among the best performing hospitals in this respect has been the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, which responded well in handling covid19 cases, while not failing in routine service delivery, in spite of security pressure.

3.    In the midst of this, the management has found time, mustered support and the wherewithal, to continue the path of growth and infrastructure expansion, towards being one of the largest and most specialty diversified Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria. The Federal Government is committed to supporting the developmental strides that I see in this hospital and our health sector. The management and Board must be commended and I now formally congratulate the Chairman, Governing Board and the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo for their leadership, resilience and dedication, even under the difficult circumstances of the Northeast region.

4.     As the leading Federal Health Institution in the Northeast zone and a centre of Excellence in Infectious diseases in Nigeria, the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) has grown into a focal point for quality healthcare in various medical and surgical specialties. We here today witness the President's commissioning of yet new additions to infrastructure, operational scope and service capacity of this hospital. These structures will reposition UMTH for delivery of emergency medical and surgical care, nursing service, family medicine, physical therapy and medical rehabilitation.

5.     The need for a top-ranking Trauma Centre is borne out of the necessity to cater for the sharp increase in complexity and number of trauma cases, fed by contemporary civil unrest, while the new General Out Patient Department and National Health Insurance Scheme's Complex, derive from the need to augment extant overstretched facilities arising from increase in the population of Maiduguri, fed by Internally Displaced Persons. With the commissioning by the President, the capacity to render quality services and handle outpatient and emergency cases will greatly improve.

6.     Similarly, the Physical therapy and rehabilitation Centre will, in no small way, ensure that injured patients requiring physiotherapy and rehabilitation get one-stop-shop service at UMTH, by receiving the full range of treatment in the acute state, and on to appropriate rehabilitation. We owe this wonderful asset to the generosity of International Committee of Red Cross, ICRC.

7.    Construction is ongoing as we speak, on other projects: a Child Institute, Stroke Center, Kidney Centre extension, a Burns Centre and Radiotherapy Center, all of which, when completed will provide cutting edge healthcare services. It is my belief that the Radiotherapy Centre will reduce the burden of untreated cancer cases in the North East.

8.     As it stands today, the Stroke Center is one of it's kind, as there is no other dedicated stroke Centre in Nigeria. I therefore regard it as an answer and a test case for our burden of non-communicable diseases. It will serve a referral function and reduce pressure on bed space in medical wards, where stroke and cardiac cases are presently admitted.

9.    Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, I conclude by expressing appreciation to the Honourable Minister of Finance, the National Assembly, the ICRC, the Northeast Development Commission and other Partners for their support in various ways and stages of the implementation of these projects. Finally, I wish to expressly thank the Borno State Government led by His Excellency, Prof. Babagana Zulum, for a cordial relationship between the state and UMTH and for the enabling environment he creates.

10.    Thank you for your attention and God bless.         

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