MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State on Wednesday flagged-off distribution of 71 ambulances and drugs worth N80m to 71 healthcare centres identified for a pilot programme aimed to increase access to public medical services by citizens.
Zulum note that many women were having difficulties accessing drugs and healthcare facilities during delivery.
He said his administration will ensure quality healthcare service delivery, particularly to the less privileged in the society.
“This administration is determined to provide free drugs to the less privileged in our society.
“Quality healthcare delivery is one of the objectives of this administration, it’s contained in our ten pact agenda. I have made a promise during electioneering campaign that we shall make free maternal drugs available to the less privileged.
“It is our duty to reduce maternal mortality rate in the State. There are thousands of women visiting hospitals for antenatal services but cannot afford to buy the delivery kit.
“To address this, I have directed henceforth, free maternal drugs be provided to all our antenatal patients in about 71 pilot healthcare centres in different locations of the State,” he said.
The Governor urged the Hospital Management Board to forward to his office detailed sustainability plans, to ensure that the scheme is captured in the 2021 budget.
“I am worried over the sustainability of this program, therefore, the Hospital Management Board should roll out a template on how we can sustain this program, and forward it to my office.
“You should also ensure that this scheme is captured in our 2021 budget, a provision of not less than one one billion naira should be made. This is what I want to see happening in my lifetime as a Governor of Borno State.
“I have recently approved the recruitment of over 500 health personnel. You should ensure that every health facility gets nothing less than two doctors. The major facilities should have at least four doctors,” he added.
He however warned that the facilities distributed should be handled appropriately by the management of various healthcare centres.
“These ambulances has to be well maintained. The PMO shall be held responsible for any maladministration of the ambulances,” he cautioned.
Responding, the State’s Commissioner for health, Dr. Salisu Kwayabura, explained that about 71 healthcare facilities will benefit from the scheme, each will get hundreds of cartons of hospital consumables and equipments.
Acording to him, a total of 16 Hiace ambulances, and 33 tricycle ambulances were also distributed to the healthcare centers to ease transportation, and to also strengthened referrals.