Chris Steven, Abuja
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has announced plans to build a specialized centre where patients with highly infectious diseases in the Federal Capital Territory will be quarantined and given adequate treatment.
The Minister made this announcement when members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), FCT Chapter led by its chairman, Dr. Chiedozie Jude Achonwa, visited him in his office on Thursday.
According to him, “plans are underway by the FCT Administration to build a modern specialized health facility where patients with highly infectious diseases could be kept and given special attention”.
“I have discussed also with some of your colleagues on the need to have a specialized centre for infectious diseases especially during the Lassa fever saga some months ago; I was surprised that patients that were suspected to have had the virus were kept initially at the National Hospital. I asked why we didn’t have a specialized centre in the Territory for cases of such nature, where we will be able to quarantine affected people,” he stressed.
The Minister emphasized that such centre is on the front burner of his Administration; noting, “we are working assiduously, believing that at some point, we should be able to have such facility in the city to serve the whole Territory”.
Malam Bello disclosed that the FCT Administration is currently partnering with some private individuals to set up new hospitals in the FCT in order to shore up the shortage in the number of hospital bed spaces noticed in the Territory; adding that government cannot do it alone.
His words: “For a long time, the issue of inadequate bed spaces in the FCT has really been something of great concern to me. Based on the briefings I got from the Health & Human Services Secretariat when I assumed office, I was amazed by the numbers I saw in terms of available bed spaces and since then, we have encouraged many private sector people that want to set up a hospital to come over and do it because government alone will not be able to bridge this huge gap”.
The Minister added, “Also, I have impressed upon owners of one or two of the hospital projects that you have seen on ground to try to get them completed because the more they are the better the services to humanity”.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, FCT Chapter, Dr. Chiedozie Jude Achonwa remarked that the Chapter intends to resuscitate its existing rural health programme to further serve the rural dwellers and contribute to the sustainable goals of the Federal Capital Territory.
While assuring the government of industrial harmony, Dr. Achonwa called for increased health infrastructure in the Territory considering the ever influx of people.