The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Yobe State Chapter has conferred an award of excellence on H.E Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam for his reform and rejuvenation of the healthcare sector in the state.
The award was presented to the governor by the National President of NMA, Prof. Mike Ogrima on behalf of the state chapter of the association in a well-attended ceremony in Damaturu today.
Prof. Ogrima was represented by NMA’s Second Vice President, Dr. Adamu Alhassan Umar.
The NMA president, who described H.E Gov. Gaidam as a ‘pillar of support for the health sector’, said doctors in the country are enamoured of the ‘monumental achievements’ of the governor in all key sectors of the economy, especially in healthcare.
“Generations yet unborn will benefit from the massive investments your administration has made in creating a peaceful atmosphere in the state and the gigantic legacies you will leave behind after your tenure in office. NMA is proud of all the robust measures you have taken to improve healthcare delivery in the state”, Prof. Ogrima said.
On his part, the State Chairman of the NMA, who is also the deputy chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Yobe University Teaching Hospital (YSUTH) Dr. Adamu Abdullahi said his association conferred the award on the governor after careful consideration of all the interventions that he has made so far in the state’s healthcare sector.
He said Yobe today is a much better place because of the dedicated effort of the governor to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable to the people.
State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammad Bellow Kawuwa said before the interventions of H.E Gov. Gaidam, Yobe’s healthcare sector was “comatose and dysfunctional” and was characterised by “dilapidated infrastructure, old and obsolete equipment. and acutely inadequate manpower”.
“The health indices in the state at the take off of the administration were worrisome and disturbing. We were ranked amongst the worst in maternal and child care”, he said.
Dr. Bello Kawuwa added that the situation began to change when H.E Gov. Gaidam came to power and assumed a new urgency when the governor declared an emergency in the health sector in May 2013.
“The declaration of emergency in the sector was followed by massive capital investments. The renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion of health facilities ensued across the state”, he said.
The commissioner said the health sector is now better poised to deliver quality care to patients, not just in the state but other parts of the country as well.
While expressing appreciation for the award conferred on him, H.E Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam said he will continue to push the boundaries in healthcare in the state.
“Let me place on record that the inadequacies that characterized the health sector in our State which included gross lack of infrastructural facilities and human resources, funding gaps, lack of adequate equipment, furniture, and other working materials, etc. was the reason why we declared a State of emergency in the health sector in 2013.
“This culminated in our administration taking far reaching and holistic measures to address the multiple challenges facing the sector”, the governor said.
The governor, who reviewed all the milestones reached by his administration in improving healthcare through massive rehabilitation of health facilities, setting up the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital and the College of Medical Sciences at the Yobe State University as well as massive recruitment of healthcare personnel, amongst others, said the challenege facing the sector now is “attitudinal change”.
“I wish to emphasize that considering the attention our administration has accorded the health sector , our problems should no longer be viewed from the perspective of lack of facilities, but rather on the need for attitudinal change.
“Therefore, I wish to appeal to all our health workers to resolve to work with dedication to enable us achieve significant progress in delivering services to our people. This way we can look forward to a time when all sorts of ailments can be satisfactorily treated here at home in keeping with our vision of making Yobe a center of medical tourism in Nigeria, In-sha Allah. This is my charge and challenge to you all”, he said.
Source: ABDULLAH BEGO