Determined to ensure the wellbeing of residents, the Nasarawa state government has upgraded the only tertiary healthcare hospital in the state. Danjuma Joseph reports
In furtherance of its avowed determination to bring qualitative and affordable health care services to the door steps of residents, the Nasarawa state government has taken the bulls by the horns by expanding the only state health care institution, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia.
The state government has installed some sophisticated equipment to upgrade the health institution to a full fledged specialist hospital.
The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Hassan Ikrama, who is elated by this development said prior to his assumption of duty, the health care institution had some challenges ranging from inadequate manpower, infrastructure and equipment.
He said in terms of manpower, the hospital did not have enough workers in almost all areas to include doctors, consultants as well as the registrars and other cadres like pharmacists, laboratory scientists and technicians.
He said the facilities available at that time were overwhelmed by patients patronising the hospital.
In terms of infrastructure, the CMD said the hospital had only 200 beds for the whole population of almost all the southern senatorial zone of the state and even part of the northern senatorial zone.
According to him the hospital used to have the problem of space; “there were not enough space, enough clinics, enough wards to take care of the surging number of patients”.
In terms of equipment he noted, “There are a lot of units that are supposed to be in the hospital but are not there. Some were there but there were not enough equipment,” he said.
Ikrama said that in terms of infrastructure, what they had first done was the casualty department as it could take only 13 patients at a time.
“Most of the time when people come to that department, they see patients on the floor bleeding. There was not enough space for them. So that was the first thing we had done in the hospital, to extend the casualty. And we added additional twenty beds to what we met on ground.
“Right now we have put it to use and it is really taking care of most of the patients that come. Now we hardly see cases of patients being treated on the floor.”
Similarly, in the area of wards,as the hospital did not have enough bed space for people, he revealed that the state government had built additional wards for 200 bed space.
The gesture was like doubling the bed capacity for the hospital as it could now take twice what it used to take in the past.
The CMD also lamented inadequate office accommodation for the staff of the tertiary health facility.
In his words: “Talking about administrative staff,consultants with no offices at all, now we have a whole block of offices for our consultants and our administrative
“Imagine we have very senior consultants, they come to hospital and they don’t have a place to sit. They just see patients and leave. But now we have enough offices to accommodate our doctors and consultants.
“We also have another radiology unit. The one that we used to have is grossly inadequate for the needs of the hospital. We also have a new Radiology, a CT Scan machine,” Ikrama, said.
In terms of equipment, the CMD disclosed that the department of obstetrics and gynaecology have taken delivery of all the equipment needed and the institution was going to get accreditation for
West Africa College of Surgeons, in obstetrics and gynaecology very
He added that the same thing was applicable to the surgery department, adding that very soon the hospital will also do the same thing to pediatrics department to maintain progress in that regard.
“To make the place more conducive, we have our internets now free for all our staff in the hospital to help research and communication between our doctors here and in other places.
“And to boost security, when we came in, the issue of security was a serious thing in this hospital. Theft was almost a daily affair in the hospital. We have revamped the security system and we have provided CCTV in all the nooks and crannies of the hospital.”
Asides this, at the commencement of SERVICOM activities in the hospital, the hospital has made tremendous achievements most specifically in the area of outpatients.
Before now, the hospital used to receive very minimal number of patients, but with the coming of SERVICOM in DASH, it presently receives more than 150 outpatients daily.
“Since the inception of SERVICOM, we have made tremendous achievement in service improvement in medical care and other services related to the hospital.”
Ikrama, commended the outgoing governor of the state, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, for taking the bold step in improving the status of the hospital.
During an inspection visit to the site where construction of new structures are ongoing, Architect Aliyu Usman Oboshi, the site engineer pointed out different areas of the building. “Basically, there are four structures as you can see on this site.
“There are two wards; one for male and the other for female. And there is the clinic and the administrative block. The top is the administration and the ground floor is the clinic.
“The other one to the left is the consultants unit; with consultants offices. Consultants will be up, part of it is the administrative block. So basically that is what we have on ground.”
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