The Hounourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has challenged the Committee of Chairmen of Boards  of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions (FTHIs) to come up with innovative approach to managing out-sourced services, internship or residency and Human Capital Flight from the hospitals.  He said as at the time the present strategy of managing these issues in the Federal hospitals was put in place, there was no problem of money and that the hospitals were few in numbers and now things must be done sustainably.

“We have since increased very significantly from the time the present management strategy was put in place.”  “As at the time we put up the present strategy, the numbers of the hospitals were few”, the Minister said.

Dr. Ehanire threw this challenge at the Committee of Chairmen of Boards of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions (FTHIs) when they came on courtesy visit to the Minister, Thursday, 26th November, 2020.  

The Committee of Chairmen of Boards of FTHIs was led to visit the Honourable Minister by their Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja who apart from being the Chairman of the Committee, is also the Chairman of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.

Other team members of the FITHs include I.B.B. Shettima of the University College Hospital, Ibadan; Dr. Alex Ideh, of Federal Medical Centre, Jabi; Senator Ishaq Salman of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri; Hanatu Akilu of Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, Prince Sule-Iko Sani Sanami of Federal Medical Centre, Keffi; Patricia Ette of National Hospital, Abuja; Barrister O.M. Omale Omale of Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa; and Basorun Y. Olatubosun, who is the Secretary of the Forum. Talking of Out-source, this is the remuneration due to Contractors providing services such as cleaning, security and such similar jobs in the hospitals.  

Dr. Osagie Ehanire who challenged the Chairmen of Boards of FHTIs on cleanliness of the hospital environment said people complained to him when they visit, that some of “the hospitals are in a complete mess.”  There should be more that one can do about the very simple things of hygiene and sanitation”, the Minister charged the Committee.  “Some of these problems don’t require money, some require routine and some discipline!”  “Everybody will judge us first and foremost as hospitals by our level of hygiene. “Before they talk of equipment or Doctors, they will talk of cleanliness; and since you are our eyes in these places, our emphasis should be more on cleanliness, particularly the wards, and the out-patient must be clean.”  The windows, even the bed sheets, the cobwebs, the mosquito nets, the curtains, whether they are tattered must be taken good care of”, the Minister challenged, mentioning such hospitals as University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Auchi and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria.

In many of the Federal Hospitals, the Board Chairmen revealed that they owe backlog of salaries and allowances payable to the Companies to which the services of Cleaners, Security men and the like, have been contracted.  They said there is an un-manageable low level of morale of the security staff and cleaners because they were not paid their salaries.  

In reply to the Hononurable Minister’s challenge about dirty hospital environment, the Committee promised to take special look at the places and make urgent amends.

The meeting of the Honourable Minister of Health with Board Chairmen of FTHIs’ visitors also looked into the challenge of managing doctors on internship or residency, which pose common challenge to the Federal hospitals.  

While Dr. Ehanire suggested that residency programmes should be made a part of Doctors’ training in the Universities so that the Universities should look for where their Doctors would do their internship and not charge the Federal Government with residency training anymore, the Committee of Chairmen of Boards of FITHs want common policy on residency engagement of Doctors to be passed from Government through them so that they could be able to engage the Unions when there are threats to industrial peace and harmony in the hospitals.

On the issue of procurement of necessities and other items needed in the hospitals, the forum wanted the Honourable Minister to help some of them get necessary waiver approvals and also get their procurement through the system within shortest possible time without disrupting the programmes and services of the hospitals.

The Honourable Minister who was supported by the Director, Hospital Services in the Ministry, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni, who was herself acting for the Permanent Secretary promised to give positive consideration to most of the requests of the visitors but challenged them that there is a limit to which the Ministry could delay the budgetary process and that the Hospital Managements must act fast.

Signed:  Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media, Federal Ministry of Health.

The National Health Promotion Policy, 2019 is meant to actualize President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision, which is ‘to improve the health and wellbeing of Nigerians’ through promotion of healthy lifestyle’.  This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire during the launch, national presentation and dissemination of the National Health Promotion Policy 2019 and its Ancillary Strategic Policy Documents at Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Abuja on Monday, 30th November, 2020.

The launch and presentation, the Minister stated  “demonstrates that the Ministry of Health is not just concerned with treating illness”,  but also putting policy in place for attaining and sustaining good health for the citizens, so that more people can enjoy good health and fewer people falling sick.  “This landmark event to present, launch and disseminate the revised National Health Promotion Policy 2019 and its ancillary Strategic Policy Documents, is timely and desirable, because it aims to actualize Federal Government's commitment to improving health and wellbeing of Nigerians, by highlighting options to making healthier lifestyle choices.”

Continuing, he said the  Policy documents will provide guidance for the empowerment of individuals, families, households, groups and communities, with appropriate information on helpful habits, steps and behaviours to maintain good health and reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, but also inform on the negative impact of certain practices.”

Dr. Osagie disclosed that available evidence shows that conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and the systems in place to handle ill-health, determine overall health outcomes. “Health education in communities and settings such as schools, workplace and worship centers, present an opportunity to disseminate information on health and impart life skills that promote healthy and health seeking behaviors, which remain throughout life”, the Minister surmised.

Dr. Osagie said that Health Promotion activities at national and sub-national levels are central to the Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services provided by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, coordinated by the Health Promotion Division of the Department of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health and supported by the National Health Promotion Forum, after the maiden National Health Promotion Policy was launched earlier in 2006. The Minister publicly presented five important Health Promotion Strategic Policydocuments and directed that a result oriented sub-national level launch and dissemination is to follow.

The Strategic Policy documents include:

‘National Health Promotion Policy (2019) and its Ancillary Strategic Policy Document ‘to contribute to achieving Nigeria's National Health Policy commitment to deliver preventive, promoting, curative, protective, restorative and rehabilitative and palliative healthcare to every citizen;

‘National Strategic Plan for Health Promotion 2020-2024’ which is the maiden 5-year National Strategic Plan for Health Promotion, 2020-2024 showcases Nigeria‘s commitment to bridging the gap between Policy and Implementation, now customized to addressing the context and peculiarities of health promotion;

‘Knowledge Management Guideline for Health Promotion 2020-2024’ which is a tool to guide the fundamental requirement to institutionalize Knowledge Management practices for health promotion defines the core elements of knowledge management namely Capture, Generation, Synthesis, Storage, Archiving, Retrieval and Sharing.

The other ancillary documents to the National Health Promotion Policy which were also launched at the occasion include:

‘Counselling Flip Chart on Key House Hold Practices ‘to empower individuals with right information, knowledge, and skills to improve health seeking behaviour by adopting simple practices that improve Child survival, Maternal, Adolescent and Elderly health, growth and development;

‘Counselling Flip Chart on Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing ‘which is meant to empower individuals with the appropriate information and knowledge to find outlets for safe and trusted family planning services and make decisions that increase family planning service uptake, thereby improving health and wellbeing of families.

Earlier in his intervention, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora while delivering the key statement at the launch event said that the National Presentation, Ministerial launch and Dissemination of the National Health Promotion Policy 2019 and its Ancillary Strategic Policy Documents is timely and “an honour for Nigeria and indeed the Ministry of Health to envision that its population is equipped with adequate and effective health information; to take timely action in disease prevention and increase control over their health.”

Dr. Mamora observed that globalization and other factors contribute to rise of threats to Nigeria’s healthcare system.  These range from the reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescents, elderly as well as nutrition factors, consumption patterns of alcohol and tobacco.  He also observed that as a result of the earlier observation, “disease patterns are changing with more people affected by cancers, diabetes, and hypertension. Mental health conditions, road traffic accidents, domestic violence, unsafe sex, and insufficient physical activity are also on the rise.”

The Honourable Minister of State identified other threats to the Nigerian populace as “insecurity, floods, poverty, unemployment, and infectious and Non-Communicable diseases”, all which need to be addressed, and are being addressed through the 2006 and now the 2019 Policy documents.

The Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdullahi Mashi Abdulaziz who was represented by the Director, Hospital Services in the Ministry, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni said “issues such as low levels of health literacy, poor sanitation and inadequate attention to key social determinants of health” needed to be addressed.  He therefore said that “The revised National Health Promotion Policy 2019 is meant to empower the Nigerian populace to take timely actions in disease prevention, improving their health and wellbeing as well as taking measures that ensure a healthy society.”

Legislative commitments, goodwill messages, and collaborative remarks were delivered by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health; Chairman, House of Reps’ Committee on Health; ED NPHCDA (Represented); DG of NAFDAC (represented); DG of NCDC (represented); DG of NOA (resented); DG of Governors’ Forum (represented);Chairman of Health Commissioners’ Forum; President of NUJ; President NPAN (represented);UN Groups (WHO and UNICEF); Donors Group – USAID; Private Donors and Philanthropists – BMGF.  Others include CAN representative who also the Sultan of Sokoto.

Nwokike Brendan; Blessing Egbo (Contributors)
Signed:  OlujimiOyetomi, Director, Media. FMOH.

The need for inclusivity and partnership of relevant stakeholders in health care delivery with Federal Ministry of Health received a boost, when the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire commissioned a privately established specialized cardiac care hospital in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory on Thursday, 26th November, 2020.  That was when the Cardiocare Multispecialty Hospital Complex in Area 11, was commissioned by the Honourable Minister.  The country may therefore be on its way to saving a tidy foreign exchange sum expended on medical tourism especially if the advice of the health minister is heeded.

Dr. Ehanire encouraged more private sector entities to enter the health space “both independently and in partnership with the federal government” disclosing that “The Central Bank has a ₦100billion loan facility for this purpose.  Ultimately, both government and private sector have the goal to record ever-improving health outcomes for our country.”  

The Honourable Minister further added that “The federal government will support the private health sector to join hands in developing innovative strategies to provide health care access to all citizens, and foster health workforce retention.”

Dr. Ehanire further admonished the promoters of Cardio care Multispecialty Hospital Complex, Abuja, deliver high-end services, saying “I trust that you will deliver cutting edge standard of specialized care here in Nigeria. May this facility serve our population well and bring smiles and happiness to families.”

The Honourable Minister of Health also disclosed at the launch event the Specialist care is often the most inaccessible.  He said “The lack of it, or distrust of its quality in our country, is often the reason citizens seek health care abroad.  It has been estimated that Nigeria loses between USD$1 and 2 billion annually in foreign exchange to what has been branded as medical tourism.”

Specialized cardiac care, Dr. Ehanire said, “is one of the most highly sought-after specialized health services in the world today”, further disclosing the WHO’s revelation that “Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year, which is 31% of all global death.”

The Honourable Minister of Health further said that “In Nigeria, cardiovascular disease remains a great public health concern; the non-communicable disease programme under the Federal Ministry of Health has reported that cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 11% of the over 2 million non-communicable disease related deaths annually.”  He said that the need for the Cardio care services has been on the rise and has been equally scarce lately; this, he said "can be attributed to derailing lifestyle habits by Nigerians compounded with the dearth of cardiac care capacity; there is a limited availability of standard and functional cardiac centers with adequate human resources.”  It was on this premise, that the Honourable Minister encouraged more health care practitioners to enter the health space even if jointly with the FG or with one-another to establish more of the centers.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media, Federal Ministry of Health.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has described the projects commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) on Thursday, 19th November, 2020 as "a reflection of the Nigerian Government’s commitment to modern and efficient healthcare delivery, and a testimony to the inspiration operators in the healthcare space derived from the President's dedication to developing Nigeria."

This view was expressed by Dr. Ehanire while giving his address at the commissioning event of landmark projects at UMTH.  

The Honourable Minister pointed out that  Nigeria's health system was strained by the global COVID-19 pandemic like those of many other countries in 2020, but Nigeria's health system survived it. He singled out for special mentioning that "Among the best performing hospitals in this respect has been the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, which responded well in handling COVID-19 cases, while not failing in routine service delivery, in spite of security pressure."

Dr. Ehanire said that in the midst of the global challenge of the COVID and the insurgency inn the North East Zone of the Country where UMTH is situated, "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." He declared that "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."

Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of UMTH, Professor Ahmad Ahidjo along with his Board who are the Chief Visioners of the commissioned projects disclosed that the hospital which was established in 1983, is the first and the largest Teaching Hospital in the North-Eastern zone of Nigeria.   He further said that "With the commissioning, the total bed capacity of the hospital would rise from 630 to close to 800"; adding that "When the on-going projects are completed, the hospital will be over 1,200 bed capacity which is about twice its current capacity and the largest hospital in Nigeria."   UMTH, Ahidjo said, serves a population of over 33 Million in the North East Geopolitical zone of Nigeria, and sizeable number across the borders of the Cameroon, Niger and Chad Republics" thus,  "UMTH requires expansion in infrastructure and services.  Therefore, taking the hospital higher from its previous level to what we see today and what will be seen in the next couple of months is not an option but a priority."

Professor Ahidjo added to the vision statement of where the commissioned projects will be taking UMTH to: "Injury accounts for 16 % of the global burden of disease. The burden of death and disability from injury is especially notable in our environment where insurgent attacks have worsened the situation. With our new Muhammadu Buhari Trauma Centre slated for commissioning today, the hospital will be well positioned to deliver expert care to injured patients and reduce the challenge of long waiting time, lack of bed spaces and dearth of auxiliary services associated with the old Accident and Emergency area. This project is funded as a capital project and equipped through Special Intervention fund by Federal Ministry of Finance (FMOF).

It is no news that all injured patients treated in our hospital who needed prostheses are often referred to other centres outside the northeast or out of Nigeria. The newly constructed Physical Rehabilitation Centre will obviate the need for this henceforth, as it is equipped with the technology required to provide this service. This project is fully funded by ICRC."

Landmark Projects commissioned at the UMTH, Maiduguri on Thursday, 19th November, 2020.

"On what led us to propose the construction of Dr. MK Dikwa GOPD/NHIS and Retainership Complex, the largest outpatient department in Nigeria, "The population of Maiduguri has increased markedly over the last decade. Part of the causes of the increase was the relocation of majority of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the region to Maiduguri."  He added that this stated reason "led to over-stretching of the General Outpatients Department (GOPD) of UMTH and those of other hospitals in the State capital.  In fact, prior to 2009, the average number of patients seen at the GOPD was 44,099 per annum.  As at December, 2017 the total number of cases seen stood at 64,783, giving a 1.5-fold increase in the total GOPD cases from 2009 to 2017.  Therefore, this complex, which is managed by family physicians, will render needed outpatient care to our people.  This project is solely funded through Special Intervention fund by FMOF", Ahidjo disclosed.

On the new Auditorium, the UMTH CMD said "This 1000-seat capacity Auditorium will go a long way to addressing the challenge of large space for conferences and lectures faced by the hospital....the Auditorium has already aided our re-accreditation undertaken by Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria." Same reason can be adduced for the 160-bed capacity Nursing Students Hostel Extension.

While the CMD expressed his deep appreciation to President Muhammad Buhari, GCFR for seeing reasons to personally commission these projects virtually from the State House, Abuja and directing the duo of the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and H.E. Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State to physically commission, he did not forget to pay due homage to his Board Chairman and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Dr. Abubakar Umar Ibn Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi for their support.

Signed:  Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media and Public Relations, FMOH.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has affirmed that the management and boards of Federal Hospitals rather than himself or the Federal Ministry of Health determine projects and programmes which are executed by the hospitals.  "They only report to us and we get the projects and programmes approved for them in their budgets for onward execution."

Dr. Ehanire disclosed this on the sidelines of the commissioning of two key projects executed by the management of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri (FNPHM) on Thursday, 19th November, 2020.

Dr. Ehanire was accompanied to the commissioning activity by H.E. Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, some members of the Borno State Executive Council, the Director Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni, the Director in charge of Teaching Hospitals in the Ministry, Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe, the Senior Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu and the Director, Media, Olujimi Oyetomi.

The projects which were commissioned include a fully built and furnished building for Medical Rehabilitation which also houses the Psychogeriatrics Unit of the Clinical Psychology Department.  The other was a fully built and furnished Electro-diagnostic Centre.

The visibly elated Medical Director of FNPHM, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi Wakama disclosed to the Honourable Minister of Health's Team, H.E. Governor Zulum' s entourage and the media that the projects were the 2020 Capital projects of his hospital.  

The Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri was established to cover the North East Zone of Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe States.  It serves a region with a population of over 25 Million people; prevents and treats mental disorders including drug abuse and rehabilitation of mentally ill persons.

Its mandate includes research and training in the field of Mental Health and Neuroscience - Clinical depression, Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder.

Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media and Public Relations, FMOH.

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday, 19th November, 2020 joined other African Countries in a Virtual 33rd Stop TB Partnership High Level Roundtable Board Meeting.

The meeting was held to review progress towards reaching the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) TB targets in the African region, to reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB response and together develop priority actions and financial investment needed to accelerate TB response and attainment of TB target in the midst of COVID-19 era.

President Muhammadu Buhari who participated in the virtual meeting, in his goodwill message commended the efforts and tremendous work done by Stop-TB Partnership at global and national levels for re-enforcing their commitment towards ending TB world over despite numerous challenges and said “It is sad that a preventable and curable disease like TB is still one of the leading causes of death world-wide with efforts at ending it now complicated because of the pandemic.  He stated that "It is now even more urgent that the global community especially the African region act in unison with dedicated efforts using the latest available technology and tools to address the TB epidemic."

President Buhari while speaking further said that Nigeria ranks amongst those countries bearing the brunt of increasing burden of TB with a growing number of missing TB cases. He assured his listening audience that the reversal of Nigeria’s difficult health indices remains a top priority of his Administration. He listed the steps taken by his administration in addressing some of the issues to include the conceptualization and implementation of the Primary Health Care Revitalization Programme aimed at empowering Primary Health Care (PHC) to provide quality basic healthcare treatment of TB, HIV, Malaria and other health challenges delivered in efficient ways.   The President said this will go a long way in helping Nigeria to achieve its target of Universal Health Coverage.  He also mentioned the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, prescribed by the National Health Act to bridge the gap in health care financing with funds released to support provision of a basic minimum package of health service as well as improved funding of health services through Voluntary Contributory Schemes (VSC) that will reduce out of pocket spending of patients and their families including those with TB.

The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora who was also present at the meeting, in his opening remarks said that a lot still needs to be done to change the present narrative for the continent to achieve the set target of attaining UNHLM by 2022. He said that TB still remains a major public health problem in WHO African region, with the region accounting for 25% of people who developed TB in 2019 with Nigeria having the highest TB burden in the region. “We need to find all the missing TB cases and provide high quality patient-centred care and treatment for all TB patients including children and other key populations. We need to urgently scale up access to TB preventive therapy (TPT) and support innovations and researches for ending TB epidemic in our respective countries”, the Minister stated.

Dr. Mamora also informed that sequel to the UNHLM meeting in 2018, Nigeria immediately developed a plan and roadmap for translating the UNHLM commitments into action with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) engaging key stakeholders and wives of Governors as State level TB Ambassadors. ”We are also working with the Executive Arm to set up a Presidential Initiative for ending TB in Nigeria, in addition the FMoH approval for the inclusion of TB into the package of care supported by the BHCPF in 2020.  He said this will further harness domestic resources towards achieving sustainable funding for TB control.”

The Minister revealed that Nigeria had made progress toward achieving the set UNHLM targets with Nigeria for the first time in 2019 recording 13% increase in TB notification, with 77% of the UNHLM target notification achieved, 74% of the UNHLM target for PLHIV placed on TB Preventive Therapy was also achieved. The Honourable Minister Health however said that the advent of COVID-19 pandemic eroded some of the gains made in the TB control efforts with some available domestic resources in most countries channelled towards addressing the pandemic.  Nigeria, he revealed, being one of the epicentres of the pandemic in Africa recorded a slight dip in TB notification at the height of the pandemic which might affect overall the TB notification in 2020.

Dr. Mamora also reported that the FMoH in order to address the impact of COVID-19 on TB, rolled out various guidelines to enhance integration of TB case finding activities into COVID-19 control measures and ensure continuity of TB and other services during the pandemic. He expressed optimism that by the end of the meeting, participants would have shared best practices and ultimately come up with useful resolutions that will help reposition more efficiently, the continents' TB control efforts towards ending TB epidemic.

Other participants at the virtual meeting were the Health Ministers and representatives from the health sector in Mozambique, Zambia, Ethiopia, Cameroon, South-Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, WHO, USAID, Stop TB Partnership amongst others.

Blessing Efem
Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media and Public Relations, FMOH.

Maiduguri, Borno, 17th November, 2020: The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, joined by the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum in physically commissioning some iconic projects at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.  The President, Muhammadu Buhari had earlier done the commissioning virtually from State House, Abuja before asking the duo of Dr. Ehanire and Professor Zulum to proceed with the physical commissioning.

The commissioned projects include a Trauma Centre which was christened Muhammadu Buhari Trauma Centre which has virtually everything that an ultra-modern World Class Trauma Centre can boast of complete with a helipad for emergency landing of a trauma patient.  Professor Ahmad Ahidjo, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) who led the team of visioners of the Centre would describe it as one of the best in the Country.

The Physical Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) built and donated to the Teaching Hospital by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) is another.  

About 2,000 physically disabled patients are planned to have been rehabilitated at the PRC by 2022.  It can be recalled that the insurgency in the North East Zone of the Country makes for many victims to need the specialized programmes of the PRC at UMTH to help people with amputated limbs regain their mobility.  The newly constructed Centre will provide artificial limbs - prostheses and orthosis, physiotherapy sessions and walking aids such as crutches and wheelchairs.

The ICRC has partnered the UMTH to provide technical and material support to 34 health care professionals, including nine orthopaedic technologists, who are completing their training in Tanzania and Lagos under ICRC scholarship. The ICRC is the world's largest provider of physical rehabilitation services in developing and fragile countries including countries experiencing armed conflicts.

The other projects commissioned by Dr. Ehanire at UMTH include the General Out-Patient Department- GOPD/National Health Insurance Scheme-NHIS/Retainership (GOPD/NHIS/RETAINERSHIP Complex.  

The Complex is a 3-floor facility built to take care of the Hospital's over-stretched old building for out-patients, NHIS and Retainership Patients.  The impressive Complex serves as the main complex for family medicine.  It has Out-Patient Clinics, Laboratory, X-ray, e-Record Suplein, Restaurant, Library, Seminar Room, Lounge, Conference Room and a Pharmacy.

The last but not the least of the commissioned projects is a 1000 seat capacity Ultra-Modern Auditorium with Conference Rooms equipped with ICT facility, Conveniences and Offices.  It was constructed and furnished for the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital by H.E.   Babagana Zulum.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media and Public Relations, FMOH.

Thursday, 19th November, 2020, Maiduguri  Borno: The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire was invited by Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno to lay the foundation of the Teaching Hospital of Borno State School of Health Sciences which the Zulum-led administration has begun its construction.  The Teaching Hospital of the Borno State University is planned for the University to eventually start the award of degree in Medicine and Surgery as well as other medical programmes.

At Zulum’s honorary request, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who was in Maiduguri for the commissioning of some "Landmark Projects" at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital at the instance of President Muhammad Buhari, GCFR laid the foundation stone for the Borno State University Teaching Hospital and College of Medical Sciences at Njimtilo, near the University’s campus along Maiduguri-Damaturu road.

In his address, Governor Zulum said: “In fulfilment of the criteria for the establishment of medical colleges, we are here to witness a foundation laying ceremony for the two important projects. We want to start medical courses especially medicine etc in the State University so that we can produce healthcare providers and undertake research as well; but aside academic purposes, we know that there is increasing population in Maiduguri and we have only one Teaching Hospital, and Maiduguri has population of over 3 Million inhabitants. A new Teaching Hospital will serve the increasing population, and this is also in line with our development plan.  Just five days ago, we have launched our 25 year Development Plan, the State University Teaching Hospital and College of Medical Sciences are part of that plan we are implementing”, Zulum said.

The Chairman of a high powered committee for the establishment of the Borno State University Teaching Hospital/Medical College, Prof. Othman Kyari said the project flagged off was the first phase.

“This is the first phase of this Teaching Hospital; in coming up with this, we looked for the best of the best of our existing Teaching Hospitals and other Teaching Hospitals outside the country. The requirements of all the regulatory bodies (medicine and surgery, dentistry, radiology pharmacy, etc) were put into consideration, we believe that by the time this complex is completed, I think it will probably be one of the best in the country”, Kyari said.

The project is being carried out through the Ministry for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, whose commissioner, Dr. Babagana Mustapha Malumbe, received Governor Zulum and the Health Minister on arrival at the ground-breaking ceremony.  The State’s Ministry of Health and relevant government establishments are expected to play vital role as the project passes through developmental stages.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media, FMOH with contribution from Lanre Obadiah, SSA (Policy) to Borno State Governor.

The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora has charged the Board and Management of Federal Medical Centre Lokoja to amicably resolve all issues with its host community.

Dr. Mamora made this charge when he paid an inspection visit to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja on the 17th of November, 2020.  The Minister disclosed that his visit was a scheduled one meant to resolve the long standing issues the hospital has been contending with.  It may be recalled that in June, 2020, routine services at FMC Lokoja was brought to a halt due to series of agitations, violence and invasion by unidentified gun men.

The Minister of State for Health, further said that his visit was meant to get the medical centre to restart its operations fully: “We want to be sure that FMC Lokoja is in right standing with the Governor of the State because you stand to benefit a lot.  I must use this opportunity to acknowledge what the State Government has done in terms of assistance to this place and stand to benefit even more as a function of good relationship with the State Government. I know so many FMCs that have benefited from their State Governors”, the Minister stated.

Dr. Mamora expressed the wish to have visited the medical center earlier than he did but couldn’t because of the COVID-19 pandemic which he said disrupted plans for many persons and institutions, “When we thought we were getting away from that, another tragedy struck, the #ENDSARS protest.  All along, it’s been on my mind to visit here, you will recall that since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have transited into what is called the new normal, in which case, the bulk of our activities have been online.”  When the situation got so bad as to necessitate the downing of tools and suspension of full services here, expectedly we got worried not just at the Federal Ministry of Health but at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) level, because we felt we were in a period where all hands must be on deck, a pandemic where all health institutions must be up and doing, that was not the best time to have a shut down; but not due to your own fault, but rather as dictated by the circumstances that you were confronted with in that situation.

“This is a solidarity visit to all of you and to say that we share your pains, we share your anxiety, but most importantly, we feel for people out there, patients and clients that ought to have benefitted from the purpose of your being here as FMC Lokoja.

Dr. Mamora informed his audience that he has had series of engagements both physically and on phone with the State Governor and the Commissioner for Health, to find an amicable way of resolving whatever issues are on ground at the Centre. He charged Dr. Audu the Commissioner for Health in Kogi State to make a commitment to the audience since he’s representing the highest authority of Kogi State Government to the effect that issues affecting the Centre will be resolved.  The Honourable Minister of State encouraged all to “leave the past in the past and to have a new beginning and that whatever is happening now shall pass, FMC Lokoja shall be great again.”

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna said FMC Lokoja is the highest care giver in Kogi State, and its closure then affected the State Government and the community at large, but despite the closure, the Government has gone to all villages to screen the people for COVID-19.  “We must play our roles to stop needless conflicts.”  He stated further that the visit by the Honorable Minister is an opportunity to ask for more services.  He informed that the Governor has been in the forefront of the conflict resolution but quite unfortunate that the conflict is being mingled with COVID-19.  He thanked the Minister of State for Health, for the fatherly role he has played and that the State Government will ensure that the conflict is resolved.

Those present at the visit event  include the Medical Director, FMC Lokoja, Dr. Olatunde Alabi, the Senior Technical Assistant to the Minister of State, Dr. David Atunwo and other senior staff of the Federal Medical Centre.

Report by Nissi Chukwu.
Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media, FMOH.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has inaugurated the Governing Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria with an advice to the newly inaugurated Board to note that “procurement and award of contracts are not part of Board functions: they are strictly guided by provisions of the procurement Act, 2007, as provided by the Bureau of Public Procurement.”  He also charged the Board to help put measures in place that will strengthen the Council's resource base, increase internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and improve effectiveness and efficiency of resource utilization, in line with Government Financial Regulations.

The inauguration of the Governing Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria took place 16th November, 2020 at the Statement Hotel, Central Business District, Abuja.

Dr. Ehanire pointedly told the Board that the Next Level Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR who is the appointing authority emphasizes transparency and accountability in the affairs of Health Institutions.  He said  Board members should set the highest standards for control of quality and discipline, reposition the profession for greater heights and note that the primary vision of the President as it involves nurses is achieving Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.  The Honourable Minister summed up his charge for them to bring about the most desired change in the shortest possible time.

The inaugurated Governing Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria which was for 2020 to 2023 comprises Dr, (Mrs) Bola Ofi as Chairman while members include Mrs Veronica Okolo, Comrade Abdrafiu A. Adeniji, Comrade T. A. Shettima, Mr. Aminu Bello Abdullahi , Mrs. Ajayi Olubukunola, Mrs. Agbo Stella Onyeamaka,  Safiya Yusuf Idris, Mrs. Maymunat A. Abubakar, Dr. Obute Pauline Binang.

Others are: Mr. Idris Zubairu, Mrs. Enunwaonye Chimdi H., Mr.Danladi Adamu, Prof. Ajibade Bayo Lawal, Dr. Abdurrahman Muhammad Sani, Mr. Maigari Babaji, Mrs. Akpoyovwere Obataze J., Dr. Joy O. Agbara, Mrs. Florence Okafor, Mr. Umar Fodio and Mr. Sunday Idubor.

Earlier the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi who was represented by the Director, Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi mni remarked that “the rapidly changing health care system requires highly competent leaders to advance their capabilities and knowledge in order to improve the quality of the Nigeria populace.”  The Permanent Secretary said that the year 2020 which came with the COVID-19 Pandemic and the notable role played by the Nurses in the management and control of the disease makes it apt to see the year as designated by the World Health Assembly as the year of Nurses and Midwives.  In the fight against the pandemic and other health challenges all over the world, he described the Nurses and Midwives as “incredible warriors.”

While responding on behalf of her Governing Board, the Chairman, Dr, (Mrs) Bola Ofi who was being reappointed for a Second Term, commended the Registrar and the Governing Council for their innovative and proactive ways of running the Council to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and other national policies of health.  She extended same recognition and gratitude to the Honourable Minister for prompt action and approval of those enormous works of Council which needed his endorsement despite the tight schedules at leading the Ministry of Health in the battle against COVID-19.  She pledged on behalf of her new team not to disappoint.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & Public Relations, with contribution from Blessing Egbo.

FMOH Agencies

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