BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI, ILORIN
Health is wealth goes the saying. As a result of this, issues relating to health have always been the central focus of human existence . In fact, all over the world, effective and result- oriented health care delivery services have remained the central target of any serious government.
In Kwara State, the situation is not different as the government has taken the issue of health care delivery beyond the pedestrian level.
Five years ago, the state became the first to start community-based health insurance scheme in Nigeria, precisely at Shonga in the Edu Local Government Area. The State has begun expanding the coverage of the scheme from Shonga in Kwara North to Kwara Central and now Kwara South. Senatorial district.What the prospective client needs is to pay N300 as premium per annum to access the health care service.
Apart from spending several millions of Naira to upgrade all the state owned hospitals at Ilorin, Offa, Share and Kaiama to effectively meet the needs of the people in the three senatorial districts, the government has also built and commissioned a multi-million Naira Diagnosis centre situated along New Yidi Road in the State capital.
The project which was conceptualised and started by the immediate past Governor, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki was targeted at providing services which the rich travel abroad to get.
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was a key figure in the Saraki administration completed the project which was commissioned by the vice president, Namadi Sambo last week. Speaking at thecommissioning, the Commissioner for Health Alhaji Kayode Abdul Issa highlighted the importance of the diagnosis centre. According to him, “ every successful treatment of any ailment begins with proper and accurate diagnosis”.
The Commissioner listed the aims of the projects to include: Provision of excellent environment for world class medical diagnostic services primarily for Kwarans, contribution to the national drive of reducing,(if not outrightly stopping)the outflow of Nigerians and national resources by people seeking such diagnostic services from other countries abroad and attraction of patients and patronage from abroad particularly from Africa. The Centre, he said, will also promote health tourism in Kwara and improve the State’s Internally Generated Revenue IGR.
Facilities of the main diagnostic centre block, according to the commissioner, include a town house (staff quarter block and service block) with electronic smoke detector and fire warning; central public address system; digital master clock; digital information system and broad-band internet connection among others.
Broadband internet connection
The centre also has an imaging and laboratory wing. The imaging wing is equipped with the diagnostic machines such as 3D Magnetic Resonance Image Module, ultrasound Scan, ECG, Mammography,X-ray machine,Fluoroscopy,16-slides and 64-slide CT scan machine all complete with a dedicated UPS. Adding that the laboratory wing of the centre is complimented with the equipment for the various laboratories.
Vice President Namadi Sambo disclosed that the newly commissioned Advanced Medical Diagnostic Centre, Ilorin is capable of saving Nigeria from capital flight on medical tourism and treatment abroad.
The VP who lauded the state government for completing the project, said that outflow of resources from the country would be a thing of the past with effective functioning of the Centre. He called on the government to recruit qualified Nigerian medical practitioners now working abroad.
Sambo, who urged other state governments to emulate Kwara State government, advised that proper maintenance culture should be imbibed so that the facility will not be run down.
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed described the commissioning as another milestone in the history of the State’s health sector.
“The centre is a product of our long and persistent quest for excellence in all aspects of medical diagnosis. This is based on our recognition that proper diagnosis is a necessary precondition for effective medical treatment. This Centre, therefore, is critical to our policy thrust on health with its twin focus on quality and access,” he said.
The governor said the Centre would be run through a Public-Private-Partnership with a highly reputable firm.
According to him,”We believe the Public Private Partnership arrangement would afford the facility an excellent management and maintenance with the aggressiveness in marketing within and outside of the country.”