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FEATURE: Sokoto’s Health Infrastructure Roadmap, by Ibraheem Yahaya



FEATURE: Sokoto’s Health Infrastructure Roadmap, by Ibraheem Yahaya

Since hosting the nation’s health policy makers for the 58th National Health Council in 2016, Sokoto State has been a thriving space for health reform and improved health facilities. The inauguration of a multi-million dollar Naira Sokoto State Advanced Medical Diagnostic Center in Farfaru marked the end of an eventful 2021 for Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and the project underscores the administration’s dedication to revamp infrastructure and healthcare services throughout the state.

The diagnostic center was created to intervene in the provision of world-class medical services in the state and has state-of-the-art medical equipment and technologies to compete with some of the best in the world. For a nation that relies heavily on medical tourism to some of the world’s most expensive destinations, the wisdom of making use of affordable, first-class medical services and facilities is a smart and timely investment, especially now that the pandemic has taught. Difficult lessons for policy makers in developing countries about dependence on foreign hospitals.

With units meeting diverse needs, from radiology to dental care to cardiology, the center benefits from high-end equipment such as the Panscope MRI (0.3 tesla MRI), the GE 16 Slice CT scanner, the fluoroscopy machine. , the EEG machine and Ear Nose and Throat Workstation (ENT), complete ophthalmology, hematology, microbiology, histopathology and chemical pathology equipment, among others.

This ambitious project has fueled the record-breaking passion for upgrading the Sokoto State University Teaching Hospital. In late 2020, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike formally laid the groundwork for the widely praised project for which the state government set aside a sum of $ 10 billion. The State Health Commissioner, Dr. Muhammed Ali Inname, had previously presented the project and stressed that the main objective of embarking on the megaproject was to build a world-class university hospital, based on the application of advanced technology and highly – labor qualified to provide excellent services and train generations of physicians and healthcare personnel. The goal, Dr. Inname stated, was to project Nigeria and the West African region as a thriving hub for medical tourism.

Exceptionally, Sokoto State University Teaching Hospital is designed to function as the largest in West Africa and boasts an impressive 1060-bed space. The hospital is linked to three new 150-bed world-class hospitals located in each of the state’s senatorial districts, which are located in Binji, Sabon Birni and Tambuwal, and would serve as an accessible center to refer patients from the areas rural. Hospitals serve rural demographics that were previously at the mercy of primary health care centers or distant urban hospitals.

The organization and categorization of health services in the state has facilitated the delegation of responsibilities and the effectiveness of the reforms promoted by the state. Upon assuming power, for example, Governor Tambuwal established the Sokoto State Contributory Health Care Management Agency, SOCHEMA, to drive efficiency in the health sector. Such direction or organizational approach guides the implementation of the solutions proposed or studied.

While Sokoto’s State Drug and Medical Supply Administration Agency (SDMA) spearheads the availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of essential drugs in the state to ensure the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and facilitate the drug supply system There is also the Sokoto State Vision Care Program, which oversees eye care solutions and has performed surgeries on patients in rural communities in Sokoto State. The program has performed vision correction surgery for 2,443 cataract patients, along with 3,219 related eye surgeries. The program has also led to the recruitment of a total of 59,853 individuals from various communities across the state.

The inspiring achievement of the TB Control Program, which has demonstrated the state’s commitment to preventing communicable diseases, the Ministry of Health has led interventions such as annual medical campaigns to address tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV / AIDS, and leprosy. This would not have been possible without the training and retraining of LGA DSNOs and their assistants in the Outbreak Response Management Analysis and Regular Surveillance System (SORMAS), which was carried out in collaboration with the National Center for the Control of Sokoto’s diseases. The other notable interventions in the state include the sustained supply of albendazole drugs to health centers and schools for the treatment of worms, the annual purchase and distribution of anti-malaria drugs, and the annual fumigation for malaria control.

Sokoto’s state has been a place of hope for Noma patients, who have undergone constructive surgeries and have also been patients with vesicovaginal fistula (VVF). The Maryam Abacha Hospital for Women and Children was established to treat cases of VFV, and they have been drastically reduced due to intense public information about the causes of the health problem. The State’s efforts to combat VFV have been rated as the first in the country and recognized by the Federal Ministry of Health for the validity, reliability, timeliness, precision, integrity, and integrity of the program’s data management.

With 860 healthcare facilities across the state, continuing to be rehabilitated, expanded, and equipped with advanced technologies, it’s easy to see how the state stood out even as the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country in the first quarter of 2020. The state prioritized the welfare of health workers and doubled their allowances for risks on an interim basis.

Governor Tambuwal’s passion for healthcare is palpable, and there could not have been better evidence of the state’s healthcare infrastructure as much as the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has overwhelmed healthcare facilities around the world. . With initiatives such as Healthcare Under One Roof and the Contributory Health Scheme, Sokoto’s journey to build and maintain model healthcare infrastructure and services is an applauded legacy.

Yahaya is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Gwarinpa, Abuja.

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