Located in the North- East geographical region of Nigeria, Adamawa State with an estimated population of about four Million people spread across 21 local government areas relies on just three General hospitals in Mubi, Numan and Ganye and a Specialists Hospital in Yola for the provision of Healthcare services.
A report made available by the State’s Ministry of Health indicates that some Local Government headquarters have no access to basic healthcare facilities as efforts by the previous administrations in the State to improve on the health sector didn’t yield much result.
The Yola Specialist hospital which was established in 1938 by the Colonial Administration as a general hospital to cater for the people of present-day Adamawa State have faced structural dilapidation and infrastructural devaluation as most of the Hospital’s structural parts and equipment had neither been upgraded nor well maintained Since it was established 83 years ago.
However, with the recent Federal Government’s Health intervention programme through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), Healthcare delivery in Adamawa State has recorded remarkable improvement.
Under the OSSAP-SDGs special healthcare intervention programme, the Yola Specialist Hospital which used to be a shadow of itself now wears a completely new look with a general rehabilitation and upgrade that has never been experienced before since the establishment of the Hospital. The hospital structure has been completely changed to a healthcare facility of international standard. The revamping is noticed right from the main entrance gate, access road and walkway into the Specialists Hospital.
Rehabilitation work has now been carried out in all the wards of the Hospital and fully furnished with state of the art medical facilities which include beds and other important equipment to ensure that patients are provided with excellent, prompt and pleasant healthcare services. Other facilities provided include the hospital Laboratories, Theatre Units, Pharmacy department and Morgue.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that OSSAP-SDGs has also extended its Healthcare intervention projects to other parts of the state. In Hong local government area for instance, the OSSAP-SDGs has constructed a 100-bed standard Referral Hospital with 20 blocks of Doctors quarters and standard laboratories. The project since been completed and is awaiting official commissioning.
Also, under the SDGs health care projects, the Great Yola Cottage Hospital a 40-bed capacity cottage medical facility equipped with standard Laboratories with MRI, and Doctors quarters as well as Emergency Unit and road network in Girei local government area has reached a level of near completion.
Similarly, OSSAP-SDG was also involved in the building of another 40-bed cottage Hospital with laboratory and staff quarters in Yolde Pate area in Yola South local government area of the state while another 20-bed capacity Hospital in Paria village in Fufore local Government area of Adamawa State.
According to Dr Amos Haruna, a private healthcare practitioner in Yola, the intervention by OSSAP-SDGs was the most comprehensive healthcare intervention in the state. Haruna said that with the rehabilitation of Yola Specialists Hospital and construction of four new standard healthcare facilities by OSSAP-SDGs in the state, the issue of health care service and referral had been largely addressed.
In his words, “When I entered Yola Specialists Hospital last week, I was bemused with the changes that has taken place in the legendary health institution. I saw a new beautiful outlook of the Hospital. In fact, the hospital now can compete with any standard health facility in the country.” Haruna said.
Dr Isa Gambo, also a health practitioner based in Yola, said that from the huge healthcare intervention by OSSAP-SDGs, accessing of standard healthcare by residents would now be easy and affordable.
“The huge healthcare intervention by OSSAP-SDG in the state will really solve many health challenges facing the state. The development will assist in reducing rate of morbidity and mortality in the state. It will also make available some treatments that people have to be referred to other states, such as cancer treatment, MRI laboratory check-up among other useful treatment,” Gambo said.