The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr.  Osagie Ehanire has obliged the request of H.E. Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State to partner Federal Ministry of Health to develop the Bauchi State Health Sector to the level that can satisfy those who believe that “Government is about giving services”, “someone who is bent on leaving a legacy of service to the people”, as the Governor described himself.

H.E. Governor Bala Mohammed led in the Bauchi Team composed of the Honourable Commissioner for Health and his counterpart in the Planning Ministry of Bauchi and some other Special Aides, Friday, 28th August to intimate the Honourable Minister of Health who was at the meeting with the Permanent Secretary for Health, A.M. Abdullahi not just to apprise the Minister of the developments in the health sector of Bauchi State which the Governor disclosed already has 108 Primary Health Care (PHC) Centers in  place with help from Development Partners – European Union and UNICEF but aspiring to have one PHC per political ward of the State; already deploying not less than 16% of the State’s annual budget to the Health Sector.

The meeting held in the Honourable Minister’s Office at the Federal Ministry of Health’s Headquaters.

Governor Bala Mohammed commended Dr. Osagie Ehanire and his team for bringing the issues of the health sector to “something that has been of concern to every one of us.”  He said “It takes another thing for another to happen”; identifying the COVID-19 challenge, bad as it is made it possible for you and your team to show that Nigeria can do as much as any other country in the world.”

“We want to look at all our inadequacies and limitations, take our political inventory, our human capital and approach our partners to find a way of closing the gaps.”  He remarked that not until Dr. Osagie Ehanire’s arrival on the scene, health sector has been a neglected sector, “the primary health care, the secondary, and even the tertiary health care sector”, he said.   The Bauchi Governor, H.E. Bala Mohammed therefore, invited the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire to be a part of the upcoming Bauchi State Health Summit at a future date.

Governor Mohammed further disclosed his Government has been doing so much in Bauchi’s health sector but identified the Bauchi challenge as including the problem with implementing the “Saving One Million Lives”; the issue of Basic Health care Provision, stating that Bauchi “has not been able to access anything despite Buachi having complied with all the guidelines”; and the “human capital.”  To the last challenge of human capital, Dr, Ehanire proffered the solution of training health care personnel from the locality that will also be quartered in that same locality so that “they would not run away.  If you bring from other places, they will stay a few months and they would want to go back to where they come from.  So, we want to localize and indigenize human capital development for the health care sector.”  Dr. Ehanire also urged the Bauchi Governor to buy into the programme of ‘One General Hospital per Local Government and supporting the General Hospital with the Staff of Tertiary Hospital, for example, the Federal Medical Center (FMC) to have the FMC adopt the General Hospital.’   The Honourable Minister of Health opined that since the FMC Health Care Expert already takes his salaries from Federal, and spending one week in and one week off, can take the one week off to be spent at the General Hospital.  He further explained that all that may be required is for the State to give the FMC Care giver a stipend, having already been provided a place to stay.”  

Dr. Osagie Ehanire further sold the idea of his pet project – the Emergency Ambulance Service – NEMSAS to the visiting Bauchi State Team.  He said, since bauch already has 108 PHCs with the propensity to putting more in place; Secondary Health Care Institutions and Tertiary Health Care Centers, “then what remains is and emergency ambulance system” which he said “has the potential of reducing maternal mortality by 25 to 30%.”

The Honourable Minister of Health thereafter accepted the Bauchi Governor’s invitation to be a part of the upcoming Bauchi State Health Summit.

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