FG Sets up Task Force to Rebuild Destroyed Health Facilities in N’East

  • Disburses N1.2bn to Borno for health commodities
  • Warns stroke is at all time high

Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government has approved a Task Force to rebuild health care infrastructure in the North-east region with mandate to restore facilities that have been destroyed by Boko Haram insurgency within six months.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, announced monday that President Muhammadu Buhari had given the nod to the task force as part of the strategy to scale up health care service delivery in the region in the face of daunting humanitarian and health challenges.
He made the declaration when he toured some of the North-east states to ascertain the level of damage perpetuated by the Boko Haram sects.
Adewole explained that “the task force would look at health, nutrition, water and environmental challenges and provide quick solutions to the problems.
“The task force is being coordinated by the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, while the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, is the chairman,” the minister stated.
He added that each of the components, water, health and environment is headed by a minister, adding that the Minister of Health is coordinating health and nutrition components of the task force.
“The task force would work in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States with more emphasis on Borno State. He added that budget for the programme had been approved, stressing that they were now developing work plan to swing into action and provide the necessary facilities in the states.
“The task force would work under the umbrella of the presidential initiative for the Northeast which would be inaugurated by President Buhari soon.
“The Federal Ministry of Health in its capacity has provided health commodities worth about N1.2 billion to Borno State; the first consignment was for about N400,000 million and was already in Maiduguri, and the second batch would follow later,” the minister stressed.
He observed that the ministry would continue to partner Borno State in the area of healthcare delivery. He added that the challenges of Borno State and other north eastern states affected not only North-east but the whole country.
Efforts by THISDAY to ascertain the total number of health facilities destroyed by the Boko Haram sect were not fruitful as the minister did not respond to questions put across.
While speaking, Deputy Governor of Borno State, Usman Mamman Durkwa, appreciated the efforts of the federal government in rebuilding Borno State. He also commended the Federal Ministry of Health for providing health commodities to the state.
He assured stakeholders that the Borno State Government remained committed to partner the federal government and development partners to ensure that Borno was rebuilt again. In another development, the minister decried the rate at which Nigerians are attacked with stroke, describing it as all-time high.
According to Adewole, “This is as a result of rapid globalisation and urbanisation thus imposing new lifestyles and risky behaviours such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, increased patronage of fast food outlets and sedentary life styles leading to obesity.
The minister who was represented by the ministry’s Chief Epediomologist, Dr. Sani Gwarzo, gave the warning in Abuja during the 5th Nigeria Stroke Assembly as part of the activities to commemorate the 2016 World Stroke Day.
He noted that such unhealthy behaviours predispose one to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and stroke, adding that the disease contributes significantly to adult morbidity and mortality, and as a result, imposes a heavy socio-economic burden on individuals, societies and the entire health system.
The minister urged development partners, the private sector, pharmaceutical industries, Civil Society Organisations, the media, traditional, religious and opinion leaders to work hand in hand in supporting the government for the successful prevention and management of stroke and other NCDs in Nigeria.