The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has pointed out that Nigeria’s health system was strained by the global COVID-19 pandemic, like those of many other countries in 2020.
Ehanire made the disclosure at the commissioning of University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
He described the projects commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) as a reflection of Government’s commitment to modernise an efficient healthcare delivery.
He said it is a testimony of the inspiration that the operators in the healthcare space derived from the President’s dedication to developing Nigeria’s health Care system.
“Among the best performing hospitals in this respect has been the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, which responded well in handling COVID-19 cases, while not failing in routine service delivery, in spite of security pressure.”
He noted that the Federal Government is committed to supporting the developmental strides that is in the hospital and the health sector generally.
“The Management and Board must be commended, and I now formally congratulate the Chairman, Governing Board and the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo for his leadership, resilience and dedication, even under the difficult circumstances of the Northeast region.”
Dr. Ehanire said that in the midst of the global challenge of the COVID-19, and the insurgency in the North East Zone of the Country, the management of UMTH has found time, mustered support and the wherewithal, to continue the path of growth and infrastructure expansion, towards being one of the largest and most specialty diversified Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria..
The Chief Medical Director of UMTH, Professor Ahmad Ahidjo, said the project is funded as a capital project and equipped through Special Intervention fund by Federal Ministry of Finance (FMOF).
“It is no news that all injured patients treated in our hospital who needed prostheses are often referred to other centres outside the Northeast or out of Nigeria. The newly constructed Physical Rehabilitation Centre will obviate the need for this henceforth, as it is equipped with the technology required to provide this service.”
He further said that with the commissioning, the total bed capacity of the hospital would rise from 630 to close to 800.
“When the on-going projects are completed, the hospital will be over 1,200 bed capacity which is about twice its current capacity and the largest hospital in Nigeria.”
He added that UMTH requires expansion in infrastructure and services.
“The hospital serves a population of over 33 Million in the North East Geopolitical zone of Nigeria, and sizeable number across the borders of the Cameroon, Niger and Chad Republics. It is higher from its previous level, to what we see today, and what will be seen in the next couple of months is not an option but a priority.”
Professor Ahidjo added that the burden of death and disability from injury is especially notable in an environment where insurgent attacks have worsened the situation.
“Injury accounts for 16 % of the global burden of disease. With our new Muhammadu Buhari Trauma Centre, slated for commissioning today, the hospital will be well positioned to deliver expert care to injured patients and reduce the challenge of long waiting time.
This 1000-seat capacity Auditorium will go a long way to addressing the challenge of large space for conferences and lectures faced by the hospital.”