The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, on Thursday, inaugurated medical equipment worth $89, 662 donated by Government of Japan to help improve the health status of Nigerians.
The inauguration took place at the Bwari General Hospital. He said the embassy had always supported Nigeria through its Grant Assistance for grassroots human security project scheme.
He said 152 projects had been implemented since 1998 under primary health, primary education and agriculture with 10. 4 million dollars disbursed so far.
``We are handing over 25 types of medical equipment and tools today to Bwari General Hospital.
``Large number of people come from Abuja, Kaduna and Niger to the hospital every day, but it could not provide patients with appropriate services because of lack of medical equipment.
``The shortage of equipment, in the worst cases, caused many babies and pregnant women to die despite the fact that their lives would have been saved with just one sort of equipment.
``Responding to the request from the hospital through Women’s Right to Education Programme, we have taken action to bridge the gap and now successfully completed the project.
“We strongly wish that the medical equipment provided by the government of Japan will contribute to the reduction in child and maternal mortality in Bwari, as well as neighbouring areas.”
He enjoined the hospital’s management to utilise the equipment properly to the benefit of many people.
The Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Osayande Osagie, commended Japan for the gesture, saying it would help promote universal health coverage.
According to him, it is our conviction that this will go a long way in achieving the World Health Organisation’s set standards of Universal Health Coverage.
Osagie said, “the hospital had its humble beginning as Primary Health Care Clinic in the present day Bwari Post Office in 1968 in then North Western state.
“It was upgraded to a comprehensive Health Centre on Sept. 12, 1989 and to General Hospital 2002.
“Our mission is to offer world class health services to all our clients without discrimination. In achieving these objectives, your donation has helped in providing technological input to our targets.”
Ms Mimido Achakpa, Executive Director of Women’s Right to Education Programme (WREP), Nigeria, said the choice of Bwari was based on its health needs assessments.
She said before the project was carried out, WREP carried out needs assessment survey of Bwari in January.
``We found out that the General Hospital is the only one in the community which serves not only the Bwari but other neighbouring communities.
The needs assessment revealed that there was urgent need for new equipment and replacement of available ones in maternity theatre, wards and labour room that were found in deplorable state.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports the high point of the event was the commissioning of medical equipment, labour room, hospital beds and maternity theatre.