Good health is central to human happiness and well-being. It is also important to the development of the economy, as a healthy population has longer life expectancy and is more productive. The ability of a government to provide qualitative health services for its people determines how safe society will look like. Indisputably, access to comprehensive, qualitative health care services is important for promoting and maintaining good health, as a measure for the reduction of unnecessary disability and premature death.
Beyond providing adequate security to protect lives and property of citizens, another key area that government’s performances can be assessed is through its ability to provide good health care services to its teeming population. Health sector is a critical element that is crucial to the developmental profile of any state.
However, in this regard, the Governor of Kebbi state, Senator Atiku Bagudu’s giant strides in repositioning the health sector in the state, which is radical and very dear to people’s hearts, is already yielding positive results in the state like never before.
His revolutionary reform in the sector is founded on the fundamental belief that development of a state begins with its people’s health. And so, in order to radically transform the sector for the benefit of its teeming population, the Bagudu administration embarked on the rehabilitation of Primary Health Care Centres across the 225 wards in the state. Having realised the importance of qualified manpower in the sector, the governor also approved the employment of health personnel, comprising doctors, pharmacists, nurses/midwives and other cadres such as cleaners, drivers and security men, among others.
In the last five years, among several other benefits that the health sector has provided to the people of Kebbi state is the regular medical outreach being sponsored by the state governor in collaboration with Moses Lake Medical Foundation from the United State of America (USA). The series of medical outreach to thousands of people were not limited to the people of the state but also to neighbouring states.
In an effort to eradicate cases of maternal mortality and child death in the state, the Bagudu government also strengthened the free drugs programme for pregnant women and children under the age of five years, as well as routine immunization which has tremendously helped in eradicating transmission of wild polio in the state.
The Midas touch of Governor Bagudu in the health sector since he assumed office as the number one citizen of Kebbi state has improved the health status of the people of the state that makes it an envy of many and the pride of her citizens at home and in the Diaspora. It is also in Bagudu’s to credit that one of the oldest general hospitals in the Northwest, Sir Yahya Memorial Hospital, Birnin Kebbi, was reconstructed by his administration to give it an international standard look.
Bagudu’s foresight for total overhaul of the health sector in the state is a factor that has helped the state to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic. While many states in the federation were battling to put in place health facilities to contain the spread of the deadly virus, the Bagudu government was already on top of the situation, and efforts were being made to procure more equipment in the fight against Covid-19.
In spite of his efforts in the health sector, the governor swiftly swung into action by setting up a Taskforce Committee to contain the spread of Covid-19 and provide medication to patients. In his kind-hearted nature, Bagudu gave what could be described as mouthwatering allowances to the frontline workers and members of the taskforce, aimed at boosting their morale for proficient service delivery.
Governor Bagudu, knowing full well the implication of the spread of the virus, set up isolation centres and ICUs in Kebbi Medical Centre, Kalgo and Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, Birnin Kebbi with adequate beds and ventilators. This is in addition to the massive awareness campaign on Covid-19 on personal and environmental hygiene, which were carried out for women groups and associations across the state.
Bagudu’s quest has always been to provide good leadership to his people in an exemplary manner that many contemporary politicians are lacking. The governor, without doubt, has made a mark as an astute administrator not only in the health sector but across the board.
Adubi writes from Kaduna