… ICS offers free surgical treatment to 150 persons in FCT, over Disease burden***
The Federal Government on Sunday says it has put in place all mechanisms to monitor and curb the outbreak of monkeypox causing anxiety around the world.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this at the inauguration of projects executed by Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto.
Also read: MonkeyPox: Nigeria records 10 additional cases in 7 days -NCDC
Ehanire said the government is monitoring the outbreak and making effort to enlighten the public on the disease and how to prevent its spread.
He said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to improve the quality of healthcare delivery in the country.
“This is a commitment to meet the highest standard found elsewhere in the world, as not everyone has the desire or means to travel abroad for treatment.
“As such, I call on doctors, nurses and care providers to bear this in mind and commit to the stated objective of excellence in service delivery to our people.
“Government has provided you the tools we today bear witness to,” he said.
The minister added that this administration has since its inception in 2015, made a point of investing in the health sector through budgetary provision and special intervention projects.
“The Brachytherapy Centre constructed at this facility as an additional treatment centre for cancer is one such project to be commissioned today.
“In 2021, the Federal Executive Council also granted approval for the construction, procurement and installation of a linear accelerator and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine for this hospital.
“This modern medical equipment will improve diagnostics and management of cancer, neurosurgery and orthopaedics cases,” he added.
Ehanire disclosed that the government was in the process of providing oxygen plants across the nation, to improve the management of critically ill patients requiring oxygen therapy.
He called on every Nigerian yet to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to avail themselves of the vaccination to support the 70 per cent ratio needed for herd immunity and a healthier society.
While assuring the commitment of the government to resolve grievances of the health sector, the minister urged health professionals to support the growth of the health system by putting aside acrimony.
He congratulated the management of Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital for achieving so much in their tenure while commending the Sokoto State government for their support to the hospital.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State lauded the federal government for its commitment toward addressing the brain drain in the health sector of the country.
Tambuwal, represented by Dr Ali Inname, the state Commissioner for Health, said the brain drain in the health sector was making the state to lose many of its health personnel.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Anas Sabir, highlighted some of the hospital’s challenges, including inadequate manpower, electricity and ageing facilities.
Projects inaugurated by the minister included the newly established Nuclear medicine department, Brachytherapy Centre, Cardiothoracic Centre and upgraded Intensive Care Unit.
Also inaugurated was the Multipurpose Centre, female students hostel, female medical ward, molecular laboratory, renovated Trauma Centre, and Accident and Emergency Department, among others.
In the meantime, the International College of Surgeons (ICS) has conducted over 150 free surgeries in three hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to enhance access to quality healthcare services at the grassroots.
Prof. Titus Ibekwe, Zonal Coordinator, Abuja branch of the organization said this in an interview with the newsmen on the sidelines of the ICS Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, on Sunday in Abuja.
The theme of the conference is “Global COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Safe Surgical Services, Training and Research’’.
The Conference also has sub-themes: “Creating and Sustaining equal opportunities locally in providing high-end surgical services, Challenges of developing and sustenance of surgical sub-specialties in Nigeria”.
Ibekwe, who is also Chairman, of the Local Organising Committee of the conference said the gesture was part of its cooperative social responsibilities
He said the surgeries which included obstetrics and gynecology, urological, endoscopic/laser, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), and eye among others were carried out in Maitama, Asokoro and Nyanya General Hospitals.
The Chairman who identified ICS as a humanitarian organization whose motto is “giving back to the society,” said members donated their talents freely to help mankind, especially the less privileged in the society.
According to him, the exercise is to bring health to the doorsteps of the masses who could not afford healthcare services due to economic hardship
“We started this programme with medical outreach and we are able to successfully execute over 150 surgeries.
“We adopted a model whereby beneficiaries were drawn from hinterlands for security reasons and brought to the city centre.
“ICS was able to actualize this through the dedication of the Outreach Committee members led by Prof. Regina Morgan and supported by Dr Evaristus Azodo. The overwhelming support of the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello and administration and partners served as bedrock.
“The exercise is a way of supporting the government and the populace, especially the less privilege who cannot afford any of these services because a good number of these surgeries can only be accessed outside the country by the rich,’’ he said.
The Chairman pledged the commitment of the college towards uplifting the country’s health sector through the reduction in the disease burden.
Ibekwe who decried the high disease burden of the country as well as other developing countries said through sustained free medical outreaches and surgeries ICS would reduce the disease burden and scale up health indices.
On the conference theme, Dr Maurice Ezeoke, President, ICS Nigerian Section described the theme as apt in view of the disruption to surgical services experienced globally in the past few years.
He said the organization’s mission was to foster worldwide surgical excellence through education, training, fellowship and humanitarian effects.
According to him, its vision is to improve the lives of patients through the development and education of members and the advancement of the medical field.
“The mission of ICS founding fathers was to establish a college that would bring surgeons of all nations, specialties and peoples together.
“This is to build a force for international cooperation, understanding, goodwill and peaceful development of the art and science of surgery,
“Its vision is to improve the lives of patients through the development and education of members and advancement of the medical field.
“ICS is out to give their talents and everything they have to salvage the society hence we collaborate with the FCT minister to give succor to the very poor in the society.”
Newsmen report that ICS, is a global organization founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1935 by Dr. Max Thorex with headquarters in Chicago.
High point of the conference was the foundation laying ceremony of the ICS Secretariat in Abuja.