Zulum inaugurates 2 oxygen plants in Maiduguri, Biu
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
In her efforts to strengthen healthcare delivery in the conflict effected region of the Northeast, the Japanese government in partnership with the Borno state government and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPOS).has constructed two oxygen plants and provided 23 solar power refrigerators to boost healthcare services in the state.
Governor Babagana Zulum while Inaugurating the plants, the State Specialists Hospital,said the oxygen plants with solar power refrigerators will will in no small measure compliment the state government efforts in strengthening healthcare delivery system in the conflict areas of Borno.
The oxygen plants are expected to directly benefit about 7.1 million people, including children and women in 27 local government areas of the state.
Represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, said “we’ll continue to accord priority to the development and sustenance of healthcare infrastructural facilities to save more life,”
In his remarks, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPOS) Project Supervisor, Atinuke Fakunle, said the projects help in strengthening healthcare delivery and build resilience of health systems in conflict and hard to reach communities.
Besides, Mrs Fakunle said the Solar powered refrigerator will enable primary healthcare facilities to provide acceptable standards of medical care in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that it will also seek to address the increasing vulnerability and mortality due to COVID-19, compounded by the insurgency in Borno.
She further explained that the 23 solar refrigerators, will also. expand vaccine storage capacity of health centres, increase child health and management of diseases affecting children under five and reiterated that the twin plants in Maiduguri and Biu, will increase production of oxygen in the state in treating acute respiratory complications
She further said that the solar refrigerator will also scale up the vaccination coverage with an efficient vaccine storage and cooling system
Also speaking via zoom, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, HE Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, said that the oxygen supply project could prioritize universal health coverage in the northeast, affected by over a decade of conflict.
He said the twin Oxygen plants will also improve and sustain healthcare delivery services to the people in Borno state and called on the international community to invest in the state’s health sector to save more lives .
Also, the e Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mohammed Ghuluze, said only 40% of patients in the country has access to oxygen in the various hospitals and clinics and therefore called on hospital authorities to maintain and sustain the oxygen plants, sited in the central and south part of the state.
In her welcome address, the Chief Medical Director, State’s Specialists Hospital, Dr. Laraba Bello, said the supply and distribution of oxygen is one of the critical components healthcare delivery,, as doctors cannot perform surgeries on patients without regular supply of oxygen