Federal Government And Governor Otti’s Unwavering Commitment To Health Care In Abia

...Fostering SDG 3 Indicators


Since assuming office on May 29th, 2023 as Governor Of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti OFR has transformed the healthcare sector in Abia State, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of its citizens. Under his administration, the state has made significant strides in healthcare, particularly in maternal and child health, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3) targets and indicators.

One of the most remarkable achievements, attributed to the fruitful partnership between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Abia State Government, is the construction of the state-of-the-art Mother and Child Centre. Built through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), this 100-bed facility, located in Etitiala Autonomous Community, Ugwunagbo LGA, is equipped with world-class medical facilities and services. It stands as a testament to the shared dedication of the Federal Government Of Nigeria as well as Governor Alex Otti OFR to reducing maternal and child mortality rates, thereby contributing to SDG 3.1, which aims to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

Maternal health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), involves the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period. Ensuring positive experiences at each stage is crucial for both women and their babies to reach their full potential for health and well-being. The Mother and Child Centre addresses these needs by providing a supportive environment with skilled health professionals capable of timely management of complications such as excessive blood loss, infection, high blood pressure, and obstructed labor.

Governor Otti’s administration has also focused on renovating three general hospitals and securing accreditation for the Teaching Hospital for five years. This has enabled the training of 60 house officers and increased the college quota by 25%. Additionally, the approval for the Nursing School to become a college and train community nurses and midwives marks another significant milestone.

The partnership with the Federal Government has further bolstered the state’s healthcare infrastructure. Notably, the approval to include Abia State in the CDC HIV response plan will channel over 500 million Naira in grants over five years. Furthermore, the World Bank Supported Immunization Impact Plus Project, with an access fund of over 3.8 million dollars, will support maternal and child health initiatives.

In alignment with SDG 3.2, which aims to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030, the state has undertaken several initiatives. These include the approval to renovate 27 Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities across 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs), inclusion of 4000 pensioners in the Basic Primary Health Care Provision Fund (BPHCPF) Insurance Scheme for free medical services, and the passage of the Drug Management Agency Bill by the state house of assembly.

The establishment of one comprehensive health facility per LGA and the completion of two general hospitals highlight the administration’s commitment to accessible healthcare. The Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) Centre of Excellence and the development of a medical village are set to further enhance healthcare delivery in the state.

The administration’s focus on maternal and child health programs, along with the full activation of the Abia State Health Insurance Scheme, ensures that healthcare services are not only available but also affordable to all citizens. This aligns with WHO’s emphasis on the need for high-quality care during and after childbirth to save the lives of women and newborns.

Governor Otti’s initiatives address the major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths, such as severe bleeding, infections, high blood pressure, complications from delivery. By ensuring that births are attended by skilled health professionals and that timely management and treatment are provided, the state is making significant progress in maternal and child health.

The achievements of Governor of Abia State, His Excellency Dr. Alex Chioma Otti’s administration in the healthcare sector, particularly in maternal and child health, are commendable. The commissioning of the Mother and Child Centre and the various healthcare initiatives underscore the state’s commitment to achieving SDG 3. As Abia State continues to prioritize healthcare, it sets a benchmark for other states in Nigeria, ensuring that no Abian is left behind in the quest for quality health and well-being.

We appreciate the Federal Government’s support for Abia State by constructing the Mother and Child Centre, marking a significant collaboration in advancing healthcare in the State. This project is a clear example of SDG 17 in action, demonstrating the power of partnerships to foster sustainable development. The combined efforts at the state and federal levels, facilitated through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), are pivotal in achieving the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, ultimately promoting the overall well-being of our communities.

_By Kenechukwu Nwosu_