By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Residents of Gidan-Dabat village, Kwande in Qua’an Pan local government area of Plateau State can now heave a sigh of relief as the Presidency under the auspices of Sustainable Development Goals; SDG, has begun the building of a 100-capacity bed hospital dedicated to the treatment of women and children.
This has come as a welcome development as Kwande, Namu and other surrounding communities do not currently have a functional health facility, but have to travel long distances to access medical services from the General Hospital in Shendam Local Government Area of the state or go over to Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, to avail themselves of such services. The alternative for them is to wait for public-spirited individuals or groups to organise healthcare and medical outreaches for them whenever it suits such entities.
To alleviate their suffering, the office of the SDG sited the hospital, which when completed, equipped and put to use, would cater for their health needs and bring succour not only to the inhabitants of Qua’an Pan Local Government Area, but the entire southern zone of the state.
The State Project Coordinator of Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, Samuel Damla, commended the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, for considering Plateau State to be one of the states to benefit from the special healthcare project of 100-bed Mother and Child hospital.
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He reiterated during a working visit to ascertain the level of work that the project will add positively to the lives of the rural communities in the southern part of the State saying: “We are here to visit one of the projects that was allocated to Plateau State Special Project Unit of the office. This project is a 100-bed mother and child hospital, which means it is a specialist hospital that will handle paediatrics and gynaecology.
“Government is trying to decongest medical facilities in the city and the focus is on rural areas. The siting of the project here is to also complement efforts of the Plateau State governor on the provision of affordable healthcare system in the state.
Remember the governor established the Plateau State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme which is meant to take away the burden of healthcare bills from the pockets of our people, especially in the rural areas. So siting this kind of project in the city you will only be short-changing those in the rural areas and this is the right place the governor deemed it fit for the project to be sited.”
He added that collaboration between the office of SDG and the State is key towards building other components that were not captured in the main project stressing:
“There should be collaboration in the sense that once the project is completed, it will be handed over to the state to manage it. And of course some of the components that were not captured in the plan will be built by the state government like the staff quarters.”
Damla, who was optimistic that the project will be completed before the end of the year, thanked Governor Simon Lalong, the Council Chairman, Malik Haruna and the host community for making the project a success.
Council Chairman, Malik Haruna and the Supervisory Councillor for Works in the Council, Norbert Kopleng, expressed joy at the siting of the project and disclosed that land was donated free by the community considering the advantages to be derived from the project.
Haruna stated: “We want to appreciate the governor for this gesture; you know health is one of his cardinal objectives. And more so, siting the project here will reduce the security problem associated with this road because there will be series of movement along this road. If you look at this area, we don’t have any strong healthcare system here, except you go to Lafia or you go to Shendam to seek better healthcare services; but with this on board, we are better for it. We thank the families and host community who donated their land for this project, we are proud of them.”