Health is wealth. This is somehow sounding like a cliché except that virtually anyone who will read this would have lived long enough to understand its truth.
There cannot be said good governance if the burden of illness or ill-health still ravages the population. A responsible government therefore does everything within its power to ensure the citizens can access health care services in as affordable cost as possible.
The Bauchi state government under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Mohammed recognises this very pivotal aspect of its mandate and has taken such an unprecedented effort aimed at ensuring due diligence is done.
Usually, the maternal and perinatal death incidents were seen as inevitable, and as such efforts to address it was not sustainable.
On assumption of office, Gov. Abubakar made it clear that this was not a tolerable reality under his watch. As usual, the Governor swung into action by perfecting the white paper on the Sponsorship of maternal, neo-natal and Child Health Week. Figures emerging from our hospitals and delivery centers are applaudable testimony of the gains of this administration. The Governor needs not tell us how much he values human life, his intervention in arresting the deaths of women and children clearly shows the stuff His Excellency is made of.
Disease outbreaks can be creepy. The responsiveness of the government and the collaboration of the people are the buffer. Bauchi has these two. With the cooperation of the people, His Excellency directed the establishment of a rapid response initiative to diarrhea disease outbreak in some parts of the State. This is an outbreak that has the potential of wiping out a population.
The Bauchi state, courtesy of the forward-thinking Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, is now enjoying Resuscitation of Patient-feeding programs. In this program, patients are being fed with balance diet. This is a heavy relief for patients and their families and or dependents.
To further give substance to his love for the women and children, Governor Abubakar completed the construction of 20 maternity centers with staff quarters. It must be borne in mind that this structure is adorned by solar-powered boreholes. Similarly, boreholes are also being sunk in different parts of the state to reduce infant and maternal deaths as well as water borne diseases
Another milestone in the Bauchi state health care system is the Governor Abubakar administration’s success in facilitating the accreditation process of the State College of Nursing and Midwifery. By this, the manpower shortage is being seriously addressed.
Similarly, within a very short time, the Governor facilitated the accreditation and commencement of Dental Health services training at the State College of Health Technology Ningi.
Despite the reality of paucity of funds, Gov. Muhammad Abubakar has in the past months either constructed or renovated 19 primary healthcare centres with VIP toilets and staff quarters in all local government areas.
The giant strides being made by his Excellency in the area of health care delivery is not unnoticed by the international medical community. This is evident in the speed with which the administration of His Excellency Governor Muhammad Abubakar was able to collaborate with foreign ‘investors’. One of such is the Al-Basar International Foundation. The foundation collaborated with Bauchi state government to organize a five-day free eye treatment to over 10,000 eye patients.
Gov. Mohammed Abubakar is certainly not a leader who will shy away from his commitments and responsibilities. This is seen by his prompt payment of One Hundred and Sixty Million Naira (160,000,000.00NGN) as part of the State Governments commitment in the MoU with Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations. This payment is what is being used to set up Emergency Operation Centres on polio.
As noted earlier, the efforts of the state government are not unnoticed. Encomiums are being poured from credible sources on the Governor for achieving epoch making feats in the health sector. One of these is the official commendation received the from Mr. Bill Gates, the proprietor of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The World biggest donor could not hide his satisfaction with the progress Bauchi is making in healthcare. Mr Gates appreciated the effort of the State Government in the routine immunization programme and the implementation of Primary Health Care under One Roof.
While some states government have their Healthcare systems practically crippled by disputes over non-payment of health workers’ salaries and entitlements, Governor Abubakar ensures that payment of salary arrears of all cadres of Bauchi state health workers are done as and when due.
Bauchi citizens can now easily access health care services due to the innovative financing options. Improvement of funding of the health sector through innovative financing mechanism, accountability and transparency all allow Governor Muhammad Abubakar an entry into Nigerian health sector hall of heroes.
Today, like never before, every general hospital in Bauchi is immediately lighted through alternative power sources whenever the Power Distributors seize power.
Those who genuinely love the people of Bauchi state now ask a salient question: How then can these outstanding successes be guarded and consolidated upon?
Well, the 2019 is just around the corner. And as many as God grants the grace to see it, sustaining our democracy and its dividends should be one of our motivations.
For Gov. Mohammad Abubakar, he has proved himself a worthy servant of the people’s interests and aspirations. To him, I dare to reecho words of wisdom: One good turn deserves another.
– Abubakar write from Bauchi
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