FCTA moves to tackle challenges in hospitals

By Wisdom Acka

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has called on FCT residents to always visit its hospitals to seek medical services, rather than herbalists and prayer warriors for medical attention. 

Secretary, Health and Human Service Secretariat, Adamu Abubakar Bappah made this call while at Kwali General Hospital during the inspection of the condition of FCT health facilities, last week. The Secretary explained that the tour of the facilities was to enable the FCTA fix all challenges facing them.

The Secretary and his team, made up of the MD Health Management Board, Dr. Aminu Mai and other directors of the secretariat, visited general hospitals in Rubochi, Abaji, Kwali, Gwagwalada and Zuba, where they inspected facilities,  interacted with the Medical Directors of the hospitals and other health workers.

The team also paid homage to traditional rulers and appealed to them to sensitize those under their domain, particularly Rubochi residents, to always visit the hospitals, instead of seeking solution to their health challenges with herbalists and prayer warriors.

Abuja Digest Weekly gathered that all the hospitals visited generally complained about similar problems, ranging from lack of constant power,  water supply, inadequate staffing, and insufficient accommodation to irregular posting of staff, and overpopulation among others.

However, while other hospitals needed expansion to accommodate more patients, the Medical Director of Rubochi General Hospital, Dr. Ita Edim decried lack of patronage from members of the community, adding that the hospital also has a challenge of constant power supply.

The Secretary thereafter visited the traditional rulers, especially the Sa Rubochi, Ibrahim Mohammed Pada and the Agape of Ugbada, Hussaini Agabi Mam, and appealed to them to convince their subjects to visit the hospital for treatment of illnesses and delivery of babies, instead of seeking health care from prayer houses and herbalists.

The duo who responded separately, pledged to sensitize their people to patronize Rubochi Hospital, even as they seized the opportunity to charge the Secretary to consider their people for employment in sensitive positions, not only in the hospital, but also in other agencies of the FCT Administration, adding that such a gesture would give the people a better sense of belonging.

Apart from the General Hospitals of Abaji, Kwali, Kuje and Zuba, which were visited and inspected, all the major traditional rulers of these areas were also visited, their cooperation and understanding sought in ensuring the successes of the health facilities.

The Secretary, while commissioning an administrative block at the Kwali General Hospital praised its MD, Dr.Halima Bello for inovation and advised other medical directors to toe her path of excellence.

Accordingly, the Ona of Abaji, Adamu Baba Yunusa; Etsu of Kwali, Shaban Audu Nizazo III; Gomo of Kuje, Haruna Jubrin Tanko; Agora of Zuba, Aliyu Mohammed Ringim and the Aguma of Gwagwalada, Mohammed Magaji who was represented by the Hakimi (district head) of Gwagwalada, Muhammmadu Lakayi all made their remarks.

While noting that Abaji was a major gate into the FCT and shares boundary with other States, the Ona requested for the upgrading of the Abaji General Hospital to a medical centre to enable it carter for the huge demand for health services occassioned by population increase and accidents on the expressway.

His Zuba counterpart, Mohammed Ringim, thanked the FCTA for heeding their requests to upgrade the hitherto Zuba cottage hospital to its present general gospital status, and appealed for further expansion of the institution owing to influx of people to the area due to its position as a boundary town.

Bappah also expressed satisfaction with the cleanliness and maintenance of facilities at the Zuba hospital, while also promising to assist the hospital to get certification from NAFDAC for a drug (Methylated spirit) produced by the young hospital.

Just like the other chiefs, they also requested for special consideration of their subjects for employment as workers in the hospitals and other agencies of the Administration.

At the FCT Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Gwagwalada, the team was greeted with a myriad of challenges similar to those of the hospitals, including lack of enabling law for the establishment of the twin schools, inadequate hostel accommodation, obsolate equipments, lack of training and 50: 50 sharing formula for the two schools, instead of the present ratio of 3:1, which represents 75: 25 percent.

The two schools also requested that sale of forms for entrance examinations should be domiciled with the institution, not the FCTA; as well as promotion of staff should be handled directly by the Health Secretariat, instead of the Health Management Board, among others.

The principals, Dambatta Binta Bello (Midwifery) and James Lakereks (Nursing) who separately berated non-conduct of their matriculation and convovation for many years, among other problems, suggested an enabling law, that would affiliate them to the FCT University of Science and Technology, Abaji.

Bappah, while responding, promised to ensure that the last sessions of the schools celebrated these ceremonies, even as he pledged the determination of the FCTA to resolve all the problems bedeviling the schools.

He also promised to ensure right placement and utilization of the schools’ only PhD holder, Dr. Shammah Monday.

The tour of FCT hospital facilities and related institutions would continue this week in the Abuja Municipal and Bwari Area Councils.