The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has commenced the construction of a N1.5 billion physical rehabilitation centre.
Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, made the disclosure at the Foundation laying ceremony of the project on Wednesday in Maiduguri.
Ahidjo said that the centre would provide clinical, rehabilitation and support services,as well as produce orthopedic devices for persons with disabilities.
He explained that the project would be executed with the support of the ICRC to treat persons with disabilities and those affected by the insurgency.
“The organisation is contributing about 3.5 million US dollars, equivalent to over N1.3 billion,” he said.
The medical director disclosed that the hospital also embarked on the construction of a 150-bed capacity Trauma Center, adding that the project had reached advance stage.
Ahidjo said the centre was designed with neuro-trauma theater,intensive care, sterilization, radiology and laboratory units.
He added that the hospital had so far taken delivery of equipment for the centre.
According to him, the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative (PCNI) is also constructing a burn center to cater for persons suffering from fire burns.
Ahidjo said that the projects were initiated as part of comprehensive development projects to address challenges posed by insurgency and also meet the health needs of the growing population.
“We have plans to move the hospital to over 1,000 bed-capacity; right now, we plan to upgrade the kidney centre.
“We are building a new and befitting child institute to cater for the surgical and medical needs of the children; we are bringing in a new centre into the hospital to manage children diseases in one place.
“The centre will have between 130 and 150 beds; it is designed with six specialised clinics,,including peadiatrics surgery, nutrition, intensive care and emergency units, as well as laboratory,” he said.
He commended the ICRC and PCNI for their support,!and called on wealthy individuals in the society to emulate the gesture and support the hospital.
In his remarks, Mr Golder Markus, the ICRC’s Head of Delegation in Nigeria, said that the rehabilitation centre was designed to treat 2, 000 patients per year, adding that it was expected to commence clinical operations in July next year.
Markus added that the organization had sponsored nine students to a three year diploma course in Prosthetics and Orthotics, to facilitate smooth running of the centre.
He added that the organization had so far provided emergency clinical services to 22, 000 persons affected by the conflict in the region.
Also, Alhaji Abdulaziz Mashi , the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, said that the Federal Government accorded priority to the improvement of health care delivery through collaboration with development organizations.
Mashi lauded the ICRC over the gesture, adding that it would encourage access to quality orthopedics services at the grass roots.
In his remark, Alhaji Hadi Gumel, the UMTH’s Board Chairman,also commended the gesture and urged individuals in the state to emulate the gesture and support the hospital.
UMTH was inaugurated on July 23, 1983 by late President Shehu Shagari, as the pioneer teaching hospital in the North East region.
It has over 3,000 staff,including 200 specialist doctors, 400 physicians, 800 nurses and other cadre of staff.
It operates outreach centres at Madagali, Banki, Potiskum and Federal Secretariat, Maiduguri.