The Gombe State Government said it has built a women and children hospital worth one billion naira in a bid to tackle the high rate of maternal and newborn deaths.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kennedy Ishaya, disclosed this on July 4, 2017, at the official launch of the MamaYe Campaign in Gombe.
Dr. Ishaya explained that the hospital, the first of its kind in the northeast political zone was built at the cost of N500m while equipment at the facility cost the state another N500m.
While decrying the alarming maternal and newborn deaths in the zone, the health commissioner said that the Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo administration has taken appropriate steps to tackle the issue.
“Statistics have shown that the northeast is losing women and children to preventable causes. The situation is not that bad in Gombe State because of the steps taken by the government”, he said.
He disclosed that Governor Dankwambo has tremendously expanded health facilities, trained more skilled health workers as well as created the enabling physical space towards providing quality healthcare for pregnant women and children.
Dr. Ishaya said further that at the time he was appointed commissioner, he met only 177 nurses and midwives manning the 22 secondary health facilities across the state, but now, the state government is currently training over 1000 nurses and midwives to fill up the gap.
He also commended Governor Dankwambo for upgrading the state owned School of Nursing in Gombe as well as the School of Laboratory Technology, Kaltungo, to colleges of Nursing and Laboratory Technology respectively.
The Commissioner disclosed that plans are underway to elevate the College of Nursing, Gombe, to a monotechnic to allow for the training of more skilled workers in the health sector.
He assured MamaYe, as well as all other development partners in the State, that government would provide enabling environment to succeed in the quest to better the lives of the people of the State.
Speaking at the event, MamaYe Nigeria Country Director, Dr. Tunde Segun said that MamaYe is currently running similar campaigns in five other African countries with a view to raising the public’s expectation on maternal and newborn health improvement.
Represented by Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi, the MamaYe Country Director emphasised that MamaYe uses evidence to drive advocacy and accountability in public health expenditure and efficient use of resources.
“MamaYe is not a project but a campaign that everyone is expected to play a role. The key issue in MamaYe is keeping MNH in the spotlight”, the Country Director said.
While decrying the high rate of maternal and newborn deaths in the northeast, Dr. Segun commended the Gombe State Government for initiating projects aimed at mitigating the issue.
He also urged the state government to put more effort in the bid to save the lives of pregnant women and newborns.
The original version of this story was written by Ali Abare, The Sun News correspondent in Gombe, and a member of MamaYe-supported Gombe State Accoutability Mechanism for Maternal and Newborn Health (GoSAM). It was first published on The Sun Newspaper online.