Borno Spends N8 billion on Post-Insurgency Healthcare Projects

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The Borno State Government says it has spent over N8 billion on reconstruction and rehabilitation of health facilities destroyed by the insurgency in the state. According to the United Nation Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) 6.9 million people need healthcare interventions in the North-East due to the humanitarian crisis caused by the insurgency.
The majority of those in need are in Borno who cannot access quality healthcare services, especially in rural communities. To address gaps in access to healthcare, the Borno Government in collaboration with the federal government and development partners embarked on massive reconstruction and rehabilitation of projects to enhance healthcare delivery at the grassroots.
The state government has spent over N4 billion on the procurement of medical equipment and another N4 billion on rehabilitation of 248 health facilities. The state Commissioner of Health, Haruna Mshelia, said the insurgency destroyed over 80 percent of healthcare facilities in the state, including 19 General Hospitals.
He, however, said that in spite of the security challenges posed by the insurgency, the state government has initiated viable projects designed to reinvigorate the sector and enhance healthcare delivery. These projects have been executed in liberated communities in the 27 local government areas over the past two years, during which the rehabilitation and upgrade of 19 general hospitals were successfully completed.
These projects include the general hospitals in Guzamala, Rann, Chibok, Uba, Biu, Askira, Kwayar-Kusar, Mafa, and Dikwa general hospitals. Others are Mobbar; Shani, Marama, Munguno, Damboa, Ngala, Benisheikh, Konduga, Ngarannam, Kaga, Gwoza and Kukawa general hospitals.
The Commissioner disclosed that plans are at an advanced stage for the establishment of 8 new general hospitals in addition to the existing 24. In addition, 8 general hospitals have so far been equipped with modern equipment to enhance their operations, and they include the Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital; Moloi, Shani, Biu, Benisheikh, Gubio, Konduga and Dikwa general hospitals.
Two other hospitals at Azare and Gajiram have been upgraded to 80-bed Capacity, while work on 250-bed capacity women and children hospital has been completed. N4.2 billion was spent on procurement of medical equipment such as radio diagnostic and scanning machines, ethno-cardiographs, mammography and digital X-ray gadgets which will be distributed to Accident and Emergency (A&E) and Intensive Care Units in the hospitals.
On immunization and disease control, the commissioner said over N200 million has been spent to replenish the pediatricss department at Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri, as well as rehabilitation of the Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) office. He said the state government was collaborating with Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation as well as Dangote Foundation to enhance routine immunizations which have enabled the control of outbreaks of cholera, meningitis and Hepatitis E.
Under this partnership, over $1 million dollars has been spent on rehabilitation and provision of medical equipment to 40 clinics. About one million people were inoculated against cholera; 1.3 million children immunised against polio and measles; 888, 905 children and expectant mothers provided with free malaria drugs and 2.1 mosquito nets were distributed to households.
The state government is providing free drugs in all the health facilities and has introduced integrated healthcare services in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. As part of efforts to address the manpower shortage in the health sector, the state government has recruited 100 doctors and awarded scholarships to 60 female medical students to address According to the state Ministry of Health, Borno has 4,800 health workers, comprising 158 doctors; 1,094 Nurses and Midwives; 29 laboratory scientists; 150 laboratory Technicians; 250 community health attendants and 12 pharmacists.
 

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