NGSG partners MTN to improve healthcare

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By; BALAB. BITRUS, Minna.
Transforming Nigeria’s healthcare sector for qualitative services requires collaborative efforts from well placed individuals, private sector players and governments to achieve maximum delivery, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state has said.
The Governor noted that efforts and resources from the public sector alone is not enough to ensure good health care delivery to the citizens.
Speaking Wednesday at the commissioning of a new Primary Health Care Centre in Lapai, Governor Bello disclosed that the state government will soon construct 70 additional new Primary Healthcare Centres in all the 25 local government councils of the state.
He said the project is to be carried out under the administration’s Primary Healthcare Under One Roof, (PHCUOR) programme. The healthcare centres are to be constructed this year he assured. The new healthcare centre commissioned is one of the four undertaken by the communication giant, MTN Nigeria. It is the MTN Foundation Maternal Ward Support Project and it is located within the facility of Lapai General Hospital.
The 70 bed capacity PHCs Governor Bello said is part of the first phase of the 274 of such centres expected to offer 24 hours comprehensive medical services to the public in each of the wards across the three senatorial districts of the state. He assured that in the next one year, at least 70 PHCOUR service facilities would be rolled out across the state under the partnership.
“The MTN in conjunction with the state government would undertake the renovation, equipping and provision of manpower to meet the pressing healthcare delivery challenges across the state” he said.  He noted that years of near total neglect of the Primary Healthcare Centres had brought about serious healthcare challenges which should have been addressed if the PHCs were functional.
Governor Bello said the dearth in such crucial facilities informed his administration’s resolve to give priority attention to this level of healthcare delivery sector which he noted is the closest to the rural populace but the most neglected.
He said redressing this yearning gap would significantly reduce maternal and childhood mortality across the state and improve the quality of life for the mass of the people.  He reaffirmed his administration’s commitment towards providing qualitative, comprehensive and affordable healthcare services just as he added that priority attention is to be accorded to provision of healthcare facilities, manpower development of medics and the general welfare needs of the health sector.
Governor Bello expressed his administration’s preparedness to continue to explore partnership with local and foreign medical service providers and other stakeholders for the delivery of qualitative healthcare services for the entire citizenry.
Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Mustapha Jibril saluted MTN Foundation for it’s support and said his ministry and the telecommunication giant have been engaged in a mutually beneficial partnership in the past three years. He disclosed that other General Hospitals in New Bussa, Mokwa and Suleja are to benefit from the Maternal Ward Support Project of the MTN Foundation in the state.
Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi represented by Alh. Muhammadu Liman, a Director at the Foundation, had earlier said the initiative which is spread across six states, (a state from each the geopolitical zones) was aimed at reducing to the barest minimum, infant and maternal morbidities in Nigeria.
He reiterated the resolve of the MTN Foundation to partner with governments and other well-meaning individuals to contribute positively to the development of the state.

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