The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora has stated that the Federal Government is doing its best to revamp the health sector in such a manner as to improve the quality of facilities in our hospitals, increase capabilities for emergency preparedness during health emergencies and restore the confidence of the citizenry in the Nigerian healthcare system so as to reduce medical tourism.
Mamora made this statement while commissioning yet another set of strategic capital projects at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State. He informed, that government is doing all that is in its power, to make the atmosphere back home conducive, to enhance better treatment and healthcare delivery, and that he said is the totality of what is been witnessed today. "Once people see what is available in our home environment and they are satisfied, then there will be no reason to embark on medical tourism. I encourage you all to support the government in her resolve to achieve these objectives by contributing your own quota through diligent service, undaunted professionalism and responsible citizenship. Working together with the government, will ensure affordable, accessible and equitable healthcare for every citizen, the Minister stated".
The commissioned projects which includes; a newly expanded General Medical Practice Clinic (GMPC) Theatre; a newly rehabilitated network of road within the Hospital; a renovated Out-patient Clinic (OPC) Building; an Isolation Centre Building; two (2) Male Wards At Aro; two (2) Female wards at Aro; a Molecular Laboratory Building with state of the art equipments; a ten (10) Bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Building equipped with modern technology such as life support-equipment, telemedicine facilities and a fully equipped ICU Ambulance; a Refurbished Laundry Building and newly constructed Industrial boreholes. These the Minister said, will not only add value to patient care but assist in positioning the hospital to achieve its vision of becoming a national centre of excellence and an international point of reference in mental health.
Dr. Mamora went further to appreciate the remarkable achievements of the hospital from the time of the “Aro Village System” of community care to the present initiatives aimed at providing mental health care at the primary health care level through an integration paradigm. Furthermore, it is particularly gratifying that successive leadership including the current have made significant effort to combat the stigma of mental illness by adopting a multi-level approach. One such approach has been the expansion of General Medical Services within the hospital including antenatal services and other specialty clinics under the current administration. This increased contact with the public has not only helped the de-stigmatization campaign but is contributing considerably to improving access to health for our teeming population.
The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Oyedele, said that the projects are not only people-oriented and patient-centred but they also speak to the hospital’s vision of becoming a national centre of excellence and an international point of reference in mental health.
The Governor re-assured the board, management and staff of Neuropsychiatric Hospital Aro, and every other medical Institution in Ogun State of his Administration’s commitment towards providing an efficient and effective medi-care to the people. "We believe that partnership between all stakeholders is a catalyst for a wholesome and sustainable development because neither the State nor the other Institutions can solely fulfill its mandate efficiently and effectively without collaboration from other partners in the sector".
Earlier, the Provost and Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Paul Agboola expressed gratitude to the government of the day headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the improved attention given to the hospital in recent time in spite of the prevailing economic climate. "It is satisfying that due to this renewed attention and support, the hospital has continued to maintain its pace-setting role in Mental Service Delivery across the globe". He went further to disclose that his administration has received invaluable support from the Federal Ministry of Health and indeed the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance.
According to him, the hospital has recorded remarkable achievements which include; a tremendous increase in the annual Capital Allocation - an increment of over 500%; an Increment in the Overhead Allocation by over 200%; provision of COVID-19 intervention funds leading to the establishment of a well-equipped “10-Bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU); fully equipped Molecular Laboratory and a well-equipped Infectious Disease Control Centre for the control and treatment of COVID-19 and other related infections.
The Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, is a 735-bed Mental Health Care Institution with a rich legacy since inception as the first purpose-built Psychiatric Hospital in Nigeria.
By: Blessing Efem
A.A.A. Chindaya, (Deputy Director Media & Public Relations)