MINISTRY OF HEALTH
Dr Saka Haruna Audu
Hon. Commissioner for Health
ACHIEVMENTS OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH
Nigeria as a country hasn’t been able to meet up entirely with the Health needs of her citizens. However, despite the economic downturn being faced in all states of the Federation, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello the executive Governor of Kogi State, has taken a bold stride to revamp the entire health sector from the comatose state as it was left behind by the previous administration. Below are some of His achievements in the Health Sector in the last 365 days.
In response to unacceptably poor maternal and child health statistics and in line with the New Direction Agenda of his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Health Care plus was introduced to reverse these poor statistics to a more favorable zone.
Healthcare plus is a project studded program with the following components:
i. Renovation, remodeling and re-equipment of 21 existing primary health care centers one per Local Government area with solar powered boreholes and electrification,
ii. Recruitment, training and retraining of Health workers on various specialties
iii.Provision of free maternal and Newborn Healthcare Services including referral services where and when necessary.
iv. Healthcare plus will serve as a pre implementation plan for the much awaited state-wide universal health Insurance Scheme.
Under Healthcare plus program, a new category of Health workers termed Health rangers has been created who will serve as mobile intermediary between women, community and health facilities. This is one of the innovations introduced to showcase Kogi State’s New Direction Agenda of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, The Executive Governor of Kogi State. So far, 21 Centers designated for healthcare plus have been visited and assessed, while upgrade and refurbishing of those Primary Healthcare Centers are ongoing. More so, the Ministry of Health has interfaced with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs in a well structured joint program sponsorship. This Project has attracted keen interest from many International and Indigenous Donor Agencies who have pledge readiness to support the State Government in Scaling up of HCP to designate additional Health Facilities.
2. BELLO HEALTH INTERVENTION
The benevolence of his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello gave birth to the Bello Health Intervention (BHI) Program. The BHI Program consists chiefly of two components:
a. Payment for needy patients, sending some Overseas for treatment.
BHI is a program designed to help critically sick Kogites and indigent patients particularly the vulnerable children. So far, 28 Kogites with various life threatening issues have been helped by this administration ranging from those with stroke, congestive Heart failure, malignant diseases, various degree of trauma including Spinal cord injury, some of were sent abroad for advanced treatment. One of the most fascinating of these was the successful separation of conjoined twins.
b. Procurement of Drugs for special category of patients
Under BHI program, the State Government has procured assorted customized pediatric drugs currently in the State Medical Store, through the office of the SDG awaiting the flag off of his Excellency before distributing to various Health facilities across the State. The qualification to access these drugs would be to be an indigene of lower social economic status irrespective of your tribe, location or political party affiliation. These free drugs will go a long way in improving child health with the ultimate aim of reducing infant mortality rate in the State to below 10 per 1000 live births. Infant mortality is currently put at 76 per 1000 live births. Among other factors, poverty has being identified as an important cause of these embarrassing child health statistics especially the alarming child mortality rate being witnessed today in our communities.
3. Adoption of clorhexidine gel for umbilical cord care
4. Payment of counterpart funds
Before this administration came on board, various donor agencies that were previously supporting Kogi State threatened to withdraw services from the State on account of non-payment of counterpart funds for very long time. However in line with the New Direction Agenda of this administration, the State Government has approved and released all the required counterpart funds worth several tens of millions of Naira. This administration has shown tremendous passion in honoring memoranda of understanding, fulfilling counterpart funding and making sure that whatever funds or donations made to the State are used solely for its intended purpose. This has reengaged trust in the hearts of our partners and Kogi State has now attracted more Donor Agencies in the Last few months.
5. Combating the Menace of Quackery
In a bid to address the menace of unwholesome and unprofessional practices in the Health Sector, the New Direction Administration has Prepared a bill for combating the menace of medical quackery in Kogi state, awaiting enactment by the Kogi State House of Assembly. The Bill, the first of its Kind in 25 years of the existence of Kogi State, is aimed at checking the excesses of quacks both in public and private health facilities. It is unfortunate that over the years, Kogi State had become a haven for the sporadic establishment of unwholesome hospitals and Health centers largely due to lack of Laws to fight medical Quackery. This has lured unsuspecting victims to patronize them probably because they offer cheaper alternatives to quality Health care. Such a trend had lead to patients receiving life-threatening prescriptions, misdiagnosis, complications and even in some instances, death!
Kogi State Ministry of Health has declared total war on Quackery and unwholesome practices.
The Hon. Commissioner for Health Dr Saka Haruna Audu stated this while unveiling a newly acquired Toyota Hillux for Inspectorate activities in the State.
He said henceforth quacks will no longer have a hiding place in the State as Impromptu visits to suspected centers will become the order of the day. Healthcare centers will now be closely monitored for the quality of services they provide.
He further enjoined all health professionals in the State to sit up and become more diligent and dedicated as the era of truancy, lateness, abandonment of post, substandard and unwholesome practices is long gone and will no longer be tolerated.
Any institution or individual found guilty in any way, be it infinitesimal or huge will be made to face the full wrath of the law accordingly!
6. KOGI STATE SUSTAINABLE DRUG SUPPLY SYSTEM
It became glaring that there was acute shortage of drugs and medical supplies in the state public health facilities. If this problem was allowed to linger, the resultant effect will be that all efforts to improve health delivery will be futile as quality prescriptions need to be matched by quality and affordable drugs. To correct this, a new model for drug supply has been designed by the Honourable commissioner termed Kogi State Sustainable Drug Supply system (SDSS) which is a systemic provision of genuine and affordable drugs to the health facilities in a sustainable manner, in line with the New Direction Blue print for the Health Sector.
This was predicated by weaknesses in the old EDRF such as undue political interference in the functioning of the scheme, Poor capacity of facility staff, inadequate managerial and financial autonomy, and capital depletion
7. UNPARALLELED RESPONSES TO MEDICAL EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
Medical emergencies are not new in any state in Nigeria just as it is no hidden fact that such emergencies are often treated with laxity popularly termed the Nigerian Factor. For instance, In the past cases of medical emergencies resulting from cassava consumption in the State were often treated as a mere case of cyanide poisoning. But for the First time in Nigeria, a case of cassava poisoning was met with rapid medical response and investigated to a logical conclusion with samples having to be shipped abroad to South Africa for complete toxicological analysis. The result from the investigation has been able to raise many questions as to the veracity of previous reports concluding that food poisoning from cassava consumption was solely due to cyanide poisoning as in the case of three deaths from cassava poisoning in Lagos in 1992, Five deaths in Akure in 2012, Five deaths in Enugu, 2012 all concluded as cases of death from cyanide poisoning. Once Again, Kogi State has set the pace for medical emergency response in this regard as we were able to prove otherwise that the deaths in Adavi Local Government of Kogi State were not from cyanide poisoning.
8. MATERNAL, NEWBORN AND CHILD HEALTH WEEK
Kogi State for the first time in two years was able to carry out the MNCH Week where important activities such as Vitamin A supplementation, de-worming, distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) and administration of therapeutic foods to malnourished children took place in 21 Local Government Areas of the State. Other activities included: provision of key information on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, family planning and hygiene, among others. It is interesting to note that Vitamin A supplementation alone has the potential of reducing child mortality by at least 30%!
Our ability to mark this event at this time shows the determination and commitment of our Health Friendly Governor in bringing quality and affordable Healthcare services to our teaming population despite the economic downturn being faced all over the country.
9. INTRODUCTION OF PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP INTO THE HEALTH SECTOR
The Ministry of Health in conjunction with Kogi State Bureau for Private Public Partnership (BPPP) has reached an advanced stage in discussion with willing investors to bring quality healthcare services into the State under a PPP arrangement, in the areas of radio diagnostics and laboratory services. Some of the willing partners are at the stage of receiving certificates.
Discussion is ongoing on the possibility of leasing out some of our facilities for massive upgrade and advanced medical services. This will eventually transform Kogi State into a hub for Medical Tourism as desired by the current Administration.
10. CONFLUENCE ADVANCED MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIC AND IMAGING CENTER (CAMDIC)
CAMDIC is a project abandoned by the last administration. However His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello, The Executive Governor of Kogi State directed reinvigoration of the project by mobilizing the contractors back to site having approved the payment of all outstanding certificates submitted by the contractors, with the ultimate aim of completing and commissioning the project for the use of the citizens of Kogi State. Our People have had to travel long distances for decades in their not so well health condition in search of definitive diagnosis of their ailments, a situation the current government is motivated and determined to redress. The New Direction administration is working towards completing the abandoned Construction activities, Paying for the already supplied equipment and procuring additional equipment to fully revitalize the project. Upon completion of this project, advanced medical, laboratory and Imaging services will be rendered to our teaming population. By virtue of the vantage location of Kogi State on the map of Nigeria, CAMDIC will attract patronage from border States and improves Revenue potential of the State.
10. RENEWED SENSE OF DEDICATION TO SERVICE BY OUR HEALTHCARE SERVICE PROVIDERS
The first 365 days of this administration has witnessed a profound change in the attitude and passion of our Healthcare workers. The Kogi State Ministry of Health under the New direction agenda of His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello, embarked on a state wide Inspection of Health facilities. The Inspection which commenced with a visit to the General Hospital Koton Karfe, saw the Hon. Commissioner for Health in company of Directors and other top officers of the Ministry pay impromptu visits to Health facilities.
It is worthy to note that to some of the facilities visited, it was the first time a sitting Commissioner was paying such a visit; such as the Kogi State Teaching Hospital Anyigba. The visit resulted in an improvement in the attitudes and diligence of Healthcare workers across the State as the uncertainty as to where next the visit will be pushed them to work on their toes. Punitive measures were also prescribed to workers found erring.
GIVING THE COLLEGE OF NURSING OBANGEDE, A DESERVED FACE LIFT
Under the watch of this New Direction Administration, the old College of Nursing Obangede, a monotechnique has been approved to be converted to a polytechnique with the introduction of new courses; Dental Nursing and Midwifery, and has also commenced remodeling, renovation and re-equipment of existing dilapidated structures. Also ongoing is a complete perimeter fencing of the institution, construction of new administrative block, new two hundred accommodation for the students and employment of more academic staff.
THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH NOW WEARS A NEW LOOK
With Health being one of the thematic areas of this New Direction Administration, making it worthy to attract international investors and ensuring the provision of quality Health care to the people of Kogi State, our Visionary Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, had approved the renovation of the Ministry of Health giving it a new and worthy look as compared to its extensively dilapidated state left by the previous administration. The renovation is currently at about 80% completion.