By Asma’u Ahmad
The Niger Government is set to upgrade and rehabilitate General Hospital Suleja to a 250-capacity-bed facility to enhance health care delivery, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Adedokun Adekunle, said.
Adekunle told the media men on Friday in Suleja, Niger, that the hospital would, later this year, be expanded from the present 136-bed capacity to accommodate more patients.
The Head of Hospital Services of the hospital also said that the facility, inaugurated in 1969, had about 20 medical doctors comprising consultants in orthopedics, pediatrics, gynecology and ophthalmology, among others.He said the hospital had the capacity to absolve referrals from Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) around the area.
He added that strengthening PHCs as embarked by Federal Government would reduce the number of patients that may come to secondary health facilities with ailments that could be addressed at PHC. He explained that “currently, everyone can come straight to general hospital or a teaching hospital with an ailment that can be easily addressed at a PHC.
“Cases of malaria, upper respiratory tract infections and other ailments can be addressed at PHCs, while chronic cases can be referred to secondary health facilities. “When you go to Out Patient Department (OPD), you will see many cases that can be addressed at PHCs but they are now in general hospitals and other tertiary health facilities.”
He noted that the full implementation of PHCs revitalisation programme of Federal Government would boost health care delivery and lessen the pressure on secondary and tertiary health facilities. He said most patients at the facility could afford the cost of drugs and medical services because it was cheaper when compared to other public health facilities in neighbouring states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Our services are affordable, that is why we have an upsurge of patients in the facility, our card is just N100, and treatment for malaria at the facility cost less than N1000,’’ he said
Adekunle commended Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger for improving the health system in the state, adding that the state employed doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, pharmacists and radiographers twice in two years. He noted that the state had also rehabilitated the laboratory section of Specialist Hospital, Minna, which was destroyed by fire, adding that the state had inaugurated the neonatal section of General Hospital, Minna.