By ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
As part of its bid to help advance the health goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, OSSAP-SDGs, has unveiled an 80-bed and 40-bed state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in Oro and Igbaja communities of Irepolodun and Ifelodun Local Government areas of Kwara State respectively.
The two facilities are part of the many healthcare facilities constructed and fully equipped by the OSSAP-SDGs already contributing to improvement of health outcomes and indices across the country.
The two facilities were commissioned separately at events attended by members of Kwara State Executive Council, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, traditional and religious leaders, top officials of OSSAP-SDGs and other stakeholders in the two communities.
Speaking during the inauguration of the 80-bed healthcare facility in Oro, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SSAP-SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire noted that her Office has prioritized interventions with multi-dimensional effects, such as basic healthcare, vocational skills development, and education provision as part of bid to actualize the promise of President Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“Our goal is to create a ripple effect that will impact and improve the lives of many Nigerians as part of the promise. Such interventions include facilities like this one we are commissioning today,” said the SSAP-SDGs.
She noted that the 80-Bed facility was established with a clear mission to improve child health, reduce maternal mortality, and contribute to SDG 3 by accelerating progress towards ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.
“The right to healthcare is a fundamental human right, and access to healthcare is a top priority for the Nigerian government in order to leave no one behind. Ladies and gentlemen, this 80-Bed facility we are commissioning today is dedicated to providing high-quality care and advancing public health, towards a healthier and more equitable future for all,” Princess Orelope-Adefulire said.
The presidential adviser further noted that the facility is equipped with a theatre, incubators, ventilators, phototherapy machines, patient monitors, children’s beds, examination beds, a 100KVA generator, and powered with solar streetlights; this hospital in a clear demonstration of the commitment of the Buhari’s administration to provide quality healthcare services to the people of Oro and its environs.
“The establishment of this 80-Bed facility is not only contributing to the achievement of SDG 3, but also positively impacting related SDGs. This hospital will serve as a catalyst for the overall development of the community, reducing infant and maternal mortality rates, improving access to healthcare services, and enhancing the overall health of the people,” the SSAP-SDGs said while appealing for continuous investments healthcare infrastructure for the advancement of SDG 3 on the health and well-being of the citizens.
She also appealed to the management and staff of the facility to ensure that it is effectively managed and maintained, and that the people of Oro and its environs have access to quality healthcare services.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed noted that President Buhari’s administration has initiated series of actions directed at expanding access to healthcare for Nigerians.
He also noted that Kwara has previously benefitted from the Buhari’s administration investments in the health sector with a 100-bed Mother and Child Hospital equipped with state of the art facilities and delivered in Eiyen-korin in Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State also by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, to reduce maternal mortality as well as infant and neo-natal deaths. The minister said the 80-bed hospital inaugurated on the sidelines of 2023 Oro Day was equally equipped to promote the heath of mothers and children.
“This development is in line with PMB’s administration commitment to providing health facilities to cater for the needs of Nigerians. I am told that the SDGs Office constructed over 35 of the 100 bed hospitals spread across the country. It also constructed over twenty 80-bed hospitals and numerous primary health centers across the country,” he said
The Minister also commended the SDGs Office for the giant strides it has recorded in the provision of social services across the country particularly in remote places.
Speaking in the same vein, the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq commended President Buhari for the giant stride his administration has recorded in health sector and infrastructure development across the country.
Represented by his Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq, the governor also thanked the minister for facilitating the projects and the OSSAP-SDGs for executing them.
In Igbaja, the joy of the community at the delivery of the 40-bed hospital knows no bound. The community said the healthcare facility was the first major intervention in the town in any sector by the Federal Government.
The traditional ruler of the community, Oba Ahmed Babalola, the Elese of Igbaja Land was therefore full of commendation to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the SSAP-SDGs for bringing federal presence to the town.
The traditional ruler who spoke through the President of Igbaja Progressive Union, Pastor Oluwatoyin Alabi described the event as historical.
“We owe a huge gratitude to the minister who incidentally is a proud son of Igbaja and on many occasions has attested to the fact that Igbaja is his second home. This project will go a long way to combat infant mortality in our community and further enhance Sustainable Development Goals. The citing of the hospital will also bring reliefs not only to Igbaja, but the entire Ireseland of Adanla, in, Offa-Iresse and other adjourning communities,” he said.
The traditional ruler also commended the presidential adviser for her commitment to the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.
Also speaking during the commissioning of the 40-Bed facility in Igbaja, Princess Orelope-Adefulire noted that the intervention was another demonstration of the commitment of OSSAP-SDGs to right to health as fundamental human right as has been reiterated by Dr. Tedros, the Director General of the World Health Organization.
“A rights-based approach to health requires that health policy and programs prioritize the needs of those furthest behind first towards greater equity, a principle that has been echoed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Universal Health Coverage. This right to health must be enjoyed without discrimination on the grounds of race, age, ethnicity or any other factor. Non-discrimination and equality require states to take steps to redress any discriminatory law, practice or policy,” she said.
She assured that other facilities requested by the community to further strengthen the hospital would be provided.