Delta State Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa on Wednesday inaugurated a multi-billion naira Advanced Diagnostic Centre in Farfaru, Sokoto State.
The facility, with state-of-the-art medical equipment, has a Radiology Unit, Laboratory Unit, Out-patient Clinics, Dental Unit, and ENT Unit. It will offer a variety of services, including Medical Investigations, Radiological Investigations, and Laboratory Investigations.
It also has provision for ECG, Stress ECG, Echocardiography, and Vascular Doppler, Gastrology, Endoscopy, Neurology, and EEG.
It has extensive capacity for MRI, CT scan, Fluoroscopy, Digital X-ray, Mammography, Chemical Pathology, Histopathology, Microbiology, and Hematology.
At the commissioning ceremony witnessed by officials of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Governor Okowa lauded Governor Aminu Tambuwal for executing a project that had a direct bearing on the lives of the people, stressing that building a tertiary health centre was not an easy task.
He stated that for Tambuwal to put up such an advanced diagnostic centre, he had shown his love for the health and wellbeing of his people.
“It is not today that I know Tambuwal. Our relationship started right from the 7th Assembly where he was a speaker of the House of Representatives, then I was a senator. Tambuwal has leadership prowess that is why I’m not surprised of what I’m seeing today,” he added.
Lauding Tambuwal’s humility and leadership style, Okowa said for Tambuwal to have successfully presided over the affairs of the House of Representatives as speaker, it’s an indication of his sterling leadership qualities, adding that God would further elevate him.
He also said the amount spent on such an advanced diagnostic centre attests to the prudent management style of the governor.
On his part, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, said Governor Tambuwal had written his name in the history of the state by carrying out people-oriented projects.
Describing the health facility as one of the legacy projects of Governor Tambuwal, the sultan said the project was borne out of the governor’s commitment and foresight to ameliorate the plight of those who could not afford to travel for better health care services.
Explaining how the project started, Sultan Abubakar said, “There was a time I called the Governor and told him to consult the Governor of Zamfara, and Kebbi to form a synergy to build a centre of excellence that will take care of numerous health challenges of our people.”
He explained that during the budget session, the governor captured it in the state budget and just like a joke, it gave birth to the project.
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He commended Tambuwal for heeding his advice and making what started as an idea a reality.
The Sultan advised Tambuwal to set up a trust fund where government, stakeholders and well-to-do individuals in the society would contribute to assist the poor to access the medical services of the centre.
He also emphasized the need for the adoption of a maintenance culture that would ensure that the facility remains a centre of excellence for healthcare delivery.
On his part, Tambuwal said the project was borne out of the advice given to him by Sultan Abubakar III and thanked the revered monarch for his fatherly guidance.
He said that the centre will not only reduce foreign medical tourism but will also make Sokoto state a destination for medical tourism.
He said for effective service delivery, the centre will run under a public-private partnership.
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mohammad Ali Inname, said the people of the state were grateful to Governor Tambuwal for his inspiring leadership.
Inname disclosed that the health sector had inseparable linkages to all sectors, saying no human endeavour can succeed in a state of ill-health.
The commissioner said the multi-billion naira advanced medical diagnostic centre is a world-class facility and a milestone in the history of medical diagnosis in Nigeria.
He said: “A staggering number of Nigerians seek healthcare services abroad, it has been reported that 5,000 Nigerians travel overseas for medical treatment monthly, with an estimated bill of over $1 billion annually. This has been a result of the non-availability of advanced healthcare technology in our health facilities.
“There are 860 public and private health facilities in Sokoto State. For this number of health facilities to provide effective services for a population of over 5 million in the state, they must adopt advanced technologies that are used globally.
“Because of this consideration, the Sokoto State Government under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal designed, constructed and equipped this new Advanced Medical Diagnostics Centre to provide high-quality cutting edge medical diagnostics services comparable to any other place in the world.
“The overall objective here is to provide healthcare services for our people and make Sokoto a hub for medical tourism, so the services provided by the centre are designed in such a way that they are affordable to the people.”
The commissioner said already, medical consultants, medical officers, laboratory scientists/technicians, nurses and other personnel required for the smooth running of the centre were being hired.