Yobe: Buni’s working visit that transformed the health sector

Recently, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state paid a rare visit to the abandoned state government owned five-year-old school of nursing and midwifery where he announced unexpected packages for personnel of the sector. MUSA M BUBA writes.

It is believed that every reasonable government works towards providing good health care services, food sufficiency, human development, education, among others for the people.  Since Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state assumed office four months ago, he has touched the lives of the citizens in different sectors.

However, his recent visit to Shehu Sule College of Nursing and Midwifery located in Damaturu was historical. The school, which was established 23 years ago, according to Blueprint investigation, has never in history been visited even once by any chief executive of the state until the coming of Governor Buni.

The school, which is saddled with the training of nurses and midwives, had existed for over 20 years without being accredited until recently.

His focus on health care
During his inaugural speech on 29th May, 2019, the governor made promises that he would provide health care services to every citizen.

According to him, his administration would be anchored on continuity and consolidation
of achievements recorded by the past administration, saying that his government
would pursue every opportunity with a high sense of responsibility in order to ensure that what rightly belongs to the state in terms of
appointments, projects are given to it.

He said, “Government would establish more health care centres, maternity clinics
and dispensaries in order to provide adequate drugs, facilities and employ more health care providers for accessible affordable and efficient primary health care services at the grassroots.

“Our objectives are to ensure the establishment of, at least, one functional
primary health care centre in each of the 178 wards of the state”.

It was part of his administration’s determination that necessary upgrade of the capacities of health institutions are made and also provide the institutions in the state with state-of-the art medical facilities and
equipment to provide the best services to the people.

Governor’s approval at midwives graduation
The governor, because of the special attention he has for healthcare services in the state, personally created time to witness the
graduation of the 37 midwives at the Shehu College of Nursing and Midwifery in Damaturu.

On the request by the Provost of the college, Hajiya Hadiza Sabo, to absorb the graduating midwives, the governor immediately granted
approval for recruitment of the 37 graduating midwives trained in collaboration with ‘Women For Health’, another organisation, in order to reduce maternal and child mortality rate in the state.

The effort, he said, is to encourage the graduating students and others who are
currently studying in the college.

He, also approved the construction of two-storey girls hostel building of
200-bed capacity, upgraded the allowances of the students, nurses and midwives from N5,000 to N10,000, approved the construction of two blocks of classrooms, office accommodations and toilets, renovated the administrative
blocks, among others.

Also out of the 3,600 housings units to be built in the state soon, Blueprint gathered that some
would be allocated to the staff of the institution in order to address their accommodation problems.

“On the requests made by the college provost in her speech a while ago, I want to assure you that we would consider them within the limits
of resources available to the state government.
“But let me announce right here, right now that contract would soon be awarded for the construction of a girls’ hostel inside the college
campus. At my direction, the acting secretary to the state government would begin work immediately to ensure that the construction of the hostel begins in earnest.”

The governor also commissioned two buses and three other official vehicles donated by Presidential Committee on North-east Initiatives (PCNI) and the British Department for International Development (DFID) to support
the healthcare sector in the state.

Apart from the approvals granted, the governor said he would ensure free maternal and child healthcare, regular supply of drugs and
consumables to hospitals and would support all the active primary health-care facilities.

Buni’s goodwill to graduating students

While addressing the graduating students, the governor said, “As you step out of this

institution to join our healthcare workforce,
I want all of you to remember the lessons you have learnt here – that as midwives, your job would be critical to saving lives, preventing
maternal and child mortality and improving the health of women and children across the state.
“You should therefore do your jobs with professionalism and with patience because our health-care system needs you.”
College provost’s remark
The provost of the college, Hajiya Sabo, in her remarks said the 37 midwives underwent a five-year rigorous training fit to handle midwifery cases, saying that it is mandatory for the graduating midwives to serve in their various indigenous local government councils for
two years before being posted out.

Blueprint investigations proved that with the coming of the Boko Haram insurgency in the sub region, many health workers were killed,

others transferred their services to relatively peaceful areas while some left their services, hence the development reduced the number of
nurses, midwives, and other health care providers in the health sector of the state in the state.
Governor’s visit to other health institutions
During the governor’s visit to Buniyadi, one of the vulnerable local government councils whose general hospital was razed down by
Boko Haram, the governor directed the secretary to the state government to investigate why the renovation being carried out was delayed.Presentation of awards
Part of the highlight was the presentation of awards to some individuals, for instance an award was presented to the governor for his contribution towards the welfare of humanity. Awards were also presented to the wife of the Emir of Damaturu, best graduating student, among others, although in different categories.    

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