A state where health is wealth, — By Shamsudeen Lukman Abubakar

Investing in the health of the citizens of every society is without doubt a very vital endeavour.

It remains the wisest thing to do in view of how strange diseases are emerging and ravaging mankind.

In the case of we in the so-called third world, tackling health issues should not just be a top priority, but a vexed one.

It is in view of this that responsible governments make a top priority among other vital sectors.

Th is follows from the fact that a healthy society becomes productive and eventually contributes meaningfully to the over-all development and progress of all the sectors of the society.

Since assuming offi ce, Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State has worked diligently to transform the near comatose health sector he inherited from his predecessor into a professional and effi cient sector and manned by well-motivated professionals who are grounded on modern approaches and internal best practices.

Governor Abubakar made his intentions very clear when he fl agged off his ‘Lafi ya Garkuwan Jiki’ (health is the elixir of the body) fi ve-point agenda wherein he stated his short, medium and long term goals in the health sector of the state which will be achieved by strengthening primary health care, provision of access to quality and cost eff ective drugs, improved funding and creation of health education awareness and strategic communication.

Shortly after the declaration, he released 162 million Naira, the state’s outstanding counterpart funding for servicing the three-way polio immunisation campaign between Bill and Melinda Gates and, Dangote Foundations and, to help set up a modern, well equipped Polio Emergency Operation Center EOC, because he understood the importance of kicking polio out of the state and indeed Nigeria and, the importance the Federal Government has attached to it.

Since then, the state has remained steadfast till date in remitting the state’s part of the polio funding.

Governor Abubakar knew that to revitalise the health sector in Bauchi, he needs to create value and develop the capacity of the health workers in Bauchi state.

To achieve this, he fi rst facilitated the accreditation of the state’s owned College of Nursing and Midwifery before sponsoring 15 staff of the institute through the Department of Foreign Aff airs, Trade and Development and World Health Organisation (DFATDWHO) to improve their capacity in the overall handling of Polio Immunisation and other vaccine preventable diseases.

Other programmes geared towards creating depth in the health sector in Bauchi state that have received the blessing of Governor Abubakar include the Maternal and Neonatal and child health week among others.

Needless to say, that, these interventions have gulped humongous sums of money but he doesn’t seem to care because, ‘Health is Wealth’.

Continuing with his drive for capacity building in the health sector, Governor Abubakar approved the creation of the Dental Health Services training department in the state-owned college of Health Technology, Ningi.

Another department that has been rejuvenated in the school is and reaccredited is the Medical Laboratory Technician and Health Information Management Department all of which now admit students.

Bauchi State has organised a couple of parleys with international partners to strategize on the investments in the state health sector.

One of such was organized in Abuja under the theme “Strategic Partnership and Collaboration”, before another fi ve-day workshop which held in Kaduna to draw up a draft ‘State Strategic Health Development Plan (SSHDP) for Bauchi State for the year 2016-2020’ was organised by the Bauchi state Ministry of Education in conjunction with LEAD/ RTI.

Already, these partnerships are yielding results as the state in partnership with Al-Basar International Foundation recently organised and sponsored a fi ve-day free eye treatment for citizens of the states suff ering from one form of eye defect or the other.

Ten thousand patients have successfully benefi ted out of which 500 underwent cataract surgery and the exercise involves given out free drugs for diff erent patients.

Th e number of women going for antenatal in public hospitals has improved tremendously just as maternal and child mortality rates had reduced drastically.

taken a nose-dive from its hitherto scary pedestal.

Th e melting pot of all are the draft legislative bills for the establishment of Bauchi State Contributory Health Management Agency to eff ectively improve coverage and access to healthcare service in the state, provision of patient direct feeding and maintenance funds to all general hospitals, settlement of the salary arrears and prompt and regular payment of salaries, provision of alternative power sources for health facilities, propmt release of funds for improving accommodation for the newly recruited Egyptian doctors, reintroduction of monthly and other charges, hospital supervision among others.

Th ese bills would remain watershed in the whole health sector of the state when they eventually become a reality.

And when all these happen, a standard that if maintained would have been set for high medical services Two years into the administration of Governor Abubakar, data gathered from public health facilities suggest a positive change.

Abubakar is the S.A Communication to the Governor



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