Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) has commenced the building of $3.5 million physical rehabilitation centre in Maiduguri, born State, for victims of Boko Haram violence and other disaster.
UMTH Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo while speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of the centre at the teaching hospital, yesterday, said the establishment of the rehab was important to the North-East zone with the huge casualties from decade of insurgency.
“We all know the challenges we’ve gone through in the North-East. The centre will not only attend to physical rehabilitation services to people with disabilities but also produce prosthetic and orthopaedic devices to carter for post-treatment period,” he CMD.
He said the UMTH has already completed the training while the construction of the centre was the second phase of the project being wholly executed by ICRC. He said patients would no longer need to travel far as it is now to get rehabilitated even with support devices as they will be produced at the rehab centre.
Ahidjo said the teaching hospital established in 1993 was aiming at attaining 1,300 beds capacity from its current 530 capacity. He said the management under his leadership was upgrading many medical facilities in the hospital to carter for the current health challenges and demands.
“Our dream is to ensure the UMTH is the best in Nigeria and surpass even the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan with 1000 beds capacity,” he said.
He disclosed that the UMTH has also commenced building of 150 beds trauma centre which he said was tailored toward clinical services including a neuro-trauma operating theatre for brain surgery and pediatric unit.
He also said the hospital has started building of a child centre, an innovation he said replaced the over 30-year-old paediatric ward. He said the 300 bed capacity child centre will provide clinical services, laboratory, research and nutritional services to children when completed. He commended the ICRC for its intervention in the North-East.
Head of sub-delegation, ICRC Maiduguri office, Mr. Markus Dolder said the organisation was glad to be part of a greater intervention in Borno State and the North-East.
Until few years ago, the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) was the only tertiary hospital in the North-East.