Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The Federal Government says it has taken steps to reduce child and maternal mortality rates in Nigeria to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live birth by the year 2030, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Despite this, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and many persistent and emerging health issues in our society,” President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday at the commissioning of a Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Daura.
As part of measures to realise these goals, Buhari explained government’s increased budgetary allocation to the health sector from N259 billion in 2015 to over N340 billion in 2018.
According to him, “this ceremony is one in the series of remarkable strides the Nigerian Air Force continues to make in repositioning itself into a professional and disciplined force.
“The landmark achievement we are witnessing today will forever remain indelible in the hearts of Nigerians and most especially the good people of Daura and Katsina State.
“The commissioning of this hospital is another critical milestone in the resolve by our nation’s Armed Forces to provide the best possible health care for our service men and their dependants as well as the host community they serve.
“The state-of-the-art medical equipment for radio-diagnostics, cancer screening, dialysis and laboratory diagnosis provided in the hospital will minimise the need for medical tourism and help to save the much needed foreign exchange that can be channelled into other sectors of the economy.
“The hospital will assist the federal and state governments in providing standard and affordable health services to the people of Daura and other adjoining towns and villages, with a view to supplementing the existing secondary and tertiary facilities.
“It will also serve as a centre for medical research where medical practitioners collaborate to find solutions to public health challenges in the country.
“More importantly, the facility is poised to provide the much needed trauma care for personnel on active duty, especially those engaged in various theatres of operation.
“This will go a long way in boosting the morale of personnel as well as encourage them to give their best in the cause of service to our father land.”