Michael Olugbode, Maiduguri
Yobe State Government has distributed 28 customised tricycle ambulances and laid the foundation for the building of the maternal, newborn and child healthcare complex at the Yobe State University Hospital.
The complex which is expected to be built at an estimated cost of N1.6 billion, according to the Governor, Yobe State, Mai-Mala Buni, will tackle cases of maternal, newborn and child mortality.
Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony in Yobe recently, Buni said: “As a government of continuity, consolidation and innovation, we are determined to maintain and build on our progress in healthcare. It is a progress that is recognised and celebrated both here in the state and across the country.
“This was why the federal government and the World Bank recently approved a grant of $29 million (N10.5 billion) to our state for emerging as the overall best among the 36 states of the federation in the implementation of the “Saving One Million Lives Programme.
“To make more progress in maternal and childcare and to improve the capacity of the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital to more effectively serve as a referral centre of excellence, we approved some funds for the construction of the Maternal, New-born and Child Health Complex for which we are gathered here at the cost of N1, 588,241,583.34.
“The objective is to strengthen maternal and childcare, thereby reducing the rates of maternal and child morbidity and mortality in the state.”
Speaking on why 28 units of tricycle ambulances were procured, he said they cost N84.5 million, and that they would be used to ease transportation for expectant mothers in labour or in emergency situations as a means of reducing maternal, pre-natal and child morbidity and mortality that may follow the complications of pregnancy, labour and delivery.
He said: “In keeping with our commitment to revitalise the healthcare sector and make our citizens healthier and capable of contributing to the socio-economic development of the state, we will continue to ensure the provision of free maternal and child healthcare services, regular supply of drugs and consumables to our hospitals, and we will also ensure adequate human resource for health in the state.
“We also plan to incentivise continuous professional development and provide other opportunities, such as staff housing, in order to continue to track and retain competent personnel working in the teaching hospitals and the general hospitals in the state.”