Democracy Day: Stakeholders Urge Plateau Govt. To Improve Health Facilities

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Stakeholders in the health sector in Plateau have asked the State Government to improve the state of health facilities and manpower, as the nation celebrates Democracy Day.

The stakeholders, in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Jos, decried the condition of facilities in the state’s healthcare sector, saying they were mostly obsolete and non-functional, causing hardships for patients and healthcare personnel.

A civil servant, who pleaded anonymity, said he brought his father who had partial stroke to a hospital in Jos and struggled for one month to get mobile oxygen and access to other diagnostic equipment.

“For almost a month now, we have been asking for mobile oxygen for our patient and it has not been provided for. Equipment such as citi scan has not been operational for a while now,” he said.

Also, the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Plateau, Dr Titus Dajel, expressed concern over the condition of some health facilities in the country, saying it was in dire need of improvement.

Dajel urged the government to implement the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of allocating 15 per cent of a country’s budget to the health sector in order to equip public health facilities to handle diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19.

“Although WHO recommends one doctor per 600 persons in Nigeria, “we have one doctor to between 10,000 and 22,000 persons,” he said.

In his reaction, the Plateau Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, said the case of inadequate number of manpower in the health sector had been presented to Gov. Simon Lalong, and that a pronouncement on the issue would soon be made.

He said the State Government was working toward getting MRI machines and Citi scans for the state, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), but that the arrangements had not been finalised.

Also commenting on the state of the health sector, Dr Kenneth Ozoilo, President, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) said with the situation of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it was apt to rebuild the health sector.

“Medical personnel experience shortage of work materials and shortcomings in working environment,” Ozoilo said.

He said the pandemic called for a revisit of the review on their remuneration and the implementation of the hazard allowance for successful combat of the disease and to prevent brain drain.

He said medical personnel were also in danger as there was inadequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which was exposing them to more risks of being infected.(NAN)


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