By Asmau Ahmad with NAN Report
Mr Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary says the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has repositioned the health sector to cater to the health needs and wellbeing of Nigerians. He made the remark on Sunday in Abuja in a statement issued to newsmen.
He said that the president’s concern for the wellbeing of Nigerians had resulted in better healthcare and an improvement in life expectancy of Nigerians. According to him, the health sector has been given priority attention under Jonathan’s administration.
Metuh said the administration had formulated and implemented strategic policies to strengthen the healthcare sector. He added that the development had provided efficient delivery of affordable health services to Nigerians as contained in the manifesto of the PDP.
Metuh said the Ministry of Health and its parastatal agencies had been re-organised, adding that federal medical institutions across the country had been re-equipped in the last four years.
The PDP spokesman said that teaching hospitals had been transformed from consulting clinics to comprehensive secondary and referral institutions. He said that the National Strategic Health Development Plan (2010-2015), which was inaugurated by the president in 2010, clearly spelt out government’s plans in the health sector.
“Four years down the line, the project has been pursued with vigour and unquestionable commitment and the results are palpable.
“Using the Saving One Million Lives Initiative and National Health Insurance Scheme, it is incontrovertible that in the last four years of Jonathan’s presidency, Nigerians have more access to adequate and affordable health care.’’
Metuh said that no fewer than one million lives had been saved directly under the initiative by scaling up cost-effective interventions in maternal and child health care, nutrition, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, malaria control and eradication of polio.
“Today, maternal mortality has dropped by more than 50 percent following the provision of Midwives Service Scheme and the attendant facilities in our hospitals,’’ he said.
The PDP spokesman explained that the nation’s health facilities were now offering free diabetes treatment to every Nigerian child. He said that under the National Strategic Health Development Plan, new technologies in modern medical equipment had been provided in most federal medical institutions to handle emergencies and disease control. He expressed happiness that life-threatening cases, such as kidney, heart and brain ailments and cancer, were now handled in Nigeria.
“After about ten years, open-heart surgery has resumed in Nigerian hospitals,’’ he said, adding that not less than 55 of such surgeries were carried out in Nigerian hospitals in 2013.
“Microsurgery of the brain is also now being conducted at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia while laparoscopic surgery for fibroid cases has since commenced at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe,’’ he said.
He said that Nigeria had recorded breakthrough in the management of sickle cell anemia following the revival of investment in medical research by the present administration. Metuh said that the feat recorded by Nigeria in the control of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease was due to the repositioning of the health sector by Jonathan’s administration. He cited the inauguration of the National Diploma in Paramedics Technology and the registration and training of medical physicists in Nigeria as part of the transformation in the health sector.