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4 Niger General Hospitals Benefit From MTN Foundation Health Portfolio

By Fodio Ahmed
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A Telecommunication giant, MTN through its foundation (MTN Foundation Support Project) would renovate, furnish and equip a Maternal Ward in General Hospitals of Lapai, Mokwa, Suleja and New Bussa area of Niger State. The State would benefit from MTN’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to help reduce poverty and foster sustainable development through its three portfolio strategy areas of Health, Education and Economic Empowerment.

The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who spoke at the commissioning of the Maternal Ward in General Hospital, Lapai, expressed sincere gratitude’s to the Board and Management of the MTN Nigeria Foundation for the interest in supporting the drive towards reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality rate in Niger State while stating that the health of Nigerlites have always been one area his administration is passionate about.

In his words: “We placed the delivery of quality healthcare as one of the priority areas of this administration. It is therefore heart-warming to partner with MTN Foundation in this direction”. Sani Bello added that, it is a welcome development to his administration’s efforts towards improving the Healthcare system in the state saying that the Maternal and the Neonatal wing of the Minna General Hospital will be completed while upgrading of seven rural hospitals to the status of general hospitals across the three zones of the State are currently ongoing.

The Governor added that, the General Hospital Kutigi has been completed, while work has begun at the Maje Hospital. While re-iterating the commitment of his administration towards implementing the Primary Health Care Under One Roof, PHCUOR, policy that will ensure that, there is one comprehensive healthcare center offering 24 hour service in each of the 277 wards in the State.

The Governor stated that, “over the years, community healthcare is the rural areas are neglected, yet this is where people live and is therefore where the need is acute”. He spoke further re-assuring Nigerlites that his administration has concluded modalities to strengthening partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency in programmes like Save One Million Lives and Rapid Results Initiative through payment of appropriate counterpart funding”.

In his welcome address, the Niger State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mustapha Jibril, appreciated the joint-collaborative efforts towards the unveiling of the MTN Foundation Maternal Ward Support Project in Niger State, which he described as “very strategic to Mr. Governor’s health restoration agenda as articulated under Niger Health 1.0”.

‘’The significance of this ceremony is manifold; first, it signifies Mr. Governor’s continued support to the health sector for which we remain most grateful and ever committed to deliver on our mandate. It is also proof that our partnership strategy for repositioning the health sector is already yielding tangible results, but more importantly, it represents a key step in our determination to halt the death of our mothers as a result of childbirth.

Dr. Jibril noted that, provision of good quality maternity care has been adopted globally as a tried and true strategy for reducing maternal and newborn deaths and access to these services is a key element of the WHO Making Pregnancy Safer initiative. In Niger State, like elsewhere in Nigeria, our maternal and child mortality indices are still far from acceptable which further underscores the strategic importance of this project which will greatly improve the quality of obstetric care provided to pregnant women who access health services from these facilities.

So, in appreciating MTN Foundation for this life-saving intervention, I wish to restate the Ministry’s commitment towards ensuring that the aim of the project is fully realized to the benefit of our people.

Chairman MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi noted that, the project is the MTN Foundation’s way of contributing their quota in eradicating infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria considering the fact that “Women of child-bearing age and infants are a significant but vulnerable percentage of our population today’’.

He however, commended the political will of Abubakar Sani Bello’s administration towards providing an enabling environment for fruitful and positive partnerships to the development of the State.