Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has said the administration is getting encouraging results from its massive investments in the health sector, saying Kwara now has second lowest maternal mortality ratio in the country — a phenomenal improvement from its status as the state with the second highest maternal mortality ratio in 2019.
The Governor spoke Monday evening, 13 December, 2021 at the commissioning of the Aisha Buhari Mother and Child Hospital in Eiyenkorin in Asa local government area of the state. Facilitated by the state government, the 120-bed is a project of the Nigerian Government under the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
AbdulRazaq, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s investments in the well-being of the masses, said the project would complement the efforts of his own administration in the healthcare sector.
“This gesture complements the efforts of our administration to reduce maternal mortality ratio, neonatal mortality rate, and under-5 mortality rate to the barest minimum. For instance, we have reduced maternal mortality ratio from 1,404.4 in 2019 per 100,000 deaths to 20.7 per 100,000 deaths by the end of 2020. This means Kwara moved from the second highest maternal mortality ratio in the country after Borno to the second lowest in the country after Ekiti,” he said, drawing applause for the feat.
“I commend my sister the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals Her Excellency Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire for supporting the Kwara State government with various interventions in the past. These include the donation of face masks and ICU beds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the donation of rural ambulances amongst other generous donations. We are very grateful, and look forward to more support.
“I implore the Office of the SSA to the President on SDG to do a lot more for Kwara through the conditional grants scheme. While we are doing so much through the Kwara Care Programme to bring more of our people into the health insurance, we need more support to give universal health coverage to the people.”
The commissioning ceremony attracted top government officials and other dignitaries, including Minister of State for Finance Prince Clem Agba; Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Salihu Yakubu Danladi; and other state legislators; Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business Dr. Jumoke Oduwoye; Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Princess Adejoke Adefulire; state cabinet members; and community leaders.
Adefulire said the facility was part of President Muhammad Buhari’s commitment to enhancing Nigerians’ access to quality healthcare service, especially in the fight against maternal and child mortality.
She commended the efforts of the state government to make the project a reality and urged the people of the state, especially the host community, to take good care of the multimillion naira facility and equipment.
“What we are doing here today is the Goal 3 of the SDG that has multiplier effects on other SDGs. If you are healthy and strong, there is nothing you cannot achieve, and that is what makes SDG-3 very critical and important,” she said.
“Based on the promise of President Muhammad Buhari to ensure that people of Nigeria enjoy good health and well-being, irrespective of their gender and status, he has given the instruction particularly that women and children especially must have access to good healthcare services.
“Pregnancy or giving birth should not be a death sentence for women. So we are going to ensure that this facility reduces maternal and child mortality in Kwara State. We know the state government has been doing so much particularly in health sector. This serves to complement it.”
While calling on host communities to properly maintain the hospital, the President’s Aide said the hospital has been fully equipped with modern facilities including 140 KVA Solar Inverter, 350 KVA power generating set, 12-rural ambulances, and 1 regular ambulance to ease operation, especially during emergency services.
Kwara First Lady Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq, in her remarks, said the Federal government’s gesture is laudable and beneficial to boosting people’s access to quality and affordable healthcare delivery.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Health Dr. Raji Razaq, the First Lady commended Aisha Buhari for her passion for women and children.
Dr. Raji, who also spoke in his own capacity, added that the state government has made unprecedented investments in the health sector and said the results are becoming glaring every day.
“Our infrastructure revolution, not minding the little resources, has been far reaching and it cuts across all local governments in the state. The government has completed the construction and renovation of about 40 primary and secondary healthcare facilities cumulatively, apart from actively working in not less than five health care facilities that are at different stages of completion,” he added.