There is no contesting the fact that popular adage, 'Health is wealth', is a truism. This is because at the centre of our ability to do anything including, to a large extent, worship is the fact that we need sound health.
It is believed that the quality of health care delivery of a nation has far reaching implication on its economy because it takes a health citizen to contribute meaningfully to the economy.
Perhaps this underscored the reason why leaders are expected to plan and execute articulated health programmes for the betterment of the lives of the populace.
At the inception of the present Administration, Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari wasted no effort in articulating well-designed policies to surmount the challenges facing the health sector.
These challenges had been on for years and seemed near impossible to get rid of, despite the attempt to do so.
However, Governor Masari swung into action by pulling down all barriers and the obstacles hindering the attainment of the goals. Shortly after assuming office almost three years ago, he undertook unscheduled inspections visit to various health institutions, health centres, hospitals and clinics.
The idea behind such visit was to enable him personally assess the problem and to get first-hand information on the issues as well as to discuss one-on-one with the various stakeholders on the best way forward.
Having done, the Governor moved steps further and conducted a summit on which experts, specialist and various groups were assembled for brainstorming sessions and at the end of the day, different programmes were mapped out and arrived at.
The ball was then set rolling for the Government such that immediately set in motion, machinery for the expansion and general rehabilitation as well as upgrade of Katsina, Funtua and Daura General Hospitals and at the same time State-of-the-art equipment running in hundred millions were procured and installed in each of the aforementioned General Hospitals. The hitherto dilapidated Health Clinics and Health Centres were equally rehabilitated and upgraded to serve the people and essential drugs are now available.
Furthermore, drainages, culverts, lavatories and walkways were constructed for healthy environment and to further beautify the surroundings. Drug revolving scheme, which was hitherto in comatose, is now revived, reorganised and expanded and the free drug policy introduced by the last Administration is now being restructured to give human face.
The Administration also enhanced the routine child immunization programme and the antenatal services. Hygiene Education and the mobilisation of the rural populace to embrace anti malaria campaign programmes are being vigorous pursued.
It also overhauled the operations of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Katsina, Malumfashi and that of the School of Health Technology, Daura and Kankia for optimal performance and the attainment of high enrolment figure for students to meet the needs of Health services of the State. Moreover, entire Diploma programmes, other training and Certificates courses the Health Institutions offer in the state have been fully accredited.
The Masari Administration has taken capacity building for health personnel in the State seriously. Therefore, training and retraining of the Health personnel has continued to receive a boost.
Statistics available have indicated that since it came into office 29th may, 2015 to date, Governor Aminu Bello Masari's Administration has so far sponsored over one hundred and fifty (150) Medical Doctors to undergo residency training programmes in various Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria and abroad. Similarly, thousands of Nurses and other paramedical staff have undergone training in their professional fields.
To further demonstrate Government commitment in boosting health care services, an approval has been given for the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at the state owned Umaru Musa Yar'adua University while the structures, facilities and equipment at Orthopaedic Hospital are also being upgraded and rehabilitated.
Water and Power supply are two key elements that boost the quality of health services being rendered to the people. The Masari Administration tackled these two issues squarely such that water is now available twenty-four hours in all the main General Hospitals courtesy of the standard boreholes that were sunk.
Additionally, open concrete wells were dug a part from the pipe borne water that is being provided to enhance operations in all the remaining Health Institutions. On power, obsolete generating sets in the Hospitals were either rehabilitated fully or in some cases new ones were procured and installed, and as a backup; a solar power system is provided to cater for the needs of the staff and the patients as well.
As far as the development of both the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Sectors are concerned, the Aminu Bello Masari Administration has allocated a fair share of its resource to turn around the State's Health Sector for optimal benefits to the people. What however remains now is for the people to continue to show appreciation by utilizing the services being offered by Health Institutions and Health Centres among others.
Yakubu sent this piece from Abuja