Kwara Making Efforts to Curb Medical Tourism
“Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. (WHO).
Being a state where things are good and harmonious, Kwara is always exploring inventive ways of making life better for the over 2 million inhabitants of the state.
Beyond huge transformation of the state through massive construction and upgrading of infrastructure, lighting up the state, and others, the state Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is determined to break new grounds in the state’s health sector.
The aim is to ensure that every resident of the state, irrespective of tribal or social affiliation enjoys unrestrained access to quality healthcare.
This is borne out of a clear understanding of the objectives of WHO’s Universal Health Coverage which indicates that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative health services they need, while also ensuring that the use of these services do not expose the user to financial difficulty.
With huge investment in the health sector and a commission to ensure a citizenry that is healthy and happy, the state has carefully implemented guidelines for promoting effective and quality health care.
Within the first five years of the present administration, notable strides such as provision of ambulances, beds, purchase of generators, upgrading of Primary Health Care Centers and establishment of new ones, rehabilitation, renovation and revamping of General Hospitals at Share, Omu-Aran, Offa, Patigi, Asa, Moro, Ilesha Baruba, Kaiama, Okuta, Lafiagi, Oro, Eggi-Oyo Ipo, Irepodun, and Igbaja, as well as the commissioning of Critical Care Unit, appointment, training and retraining of various structure of health workers, upgrading and construction of staff quarters, and others have been recorded.
These were achieved alongside various programs such as maternal, new born and child health care programs, disease surveillance and control activities, malaria control programs, hypertension and diabetes awareness screening programs, to mention a few that are being strengthened for the health benefit of the people.
Recently, the Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) was flagged off to bring health care closer to the people.
The scheme visits all local government areas, for little or nothing while undertaking services such as consultancy for common ailments, screening and counseling for HIV, diabetes and hypertension, provision of family planning services, as well as screening and treatment of eye problems and dental problems and much more.
Although, the President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, HFN, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, disclosed that a total of one billion dollars is lost annually to medical tourism in Nigeria even as she lamented on the inadequate investment in the nation’s healthcare system, nevertheless, this doesn’t affect Kwara state’s health sector as the Abdulfatah’s led-administration has created schemes and infrastructures to ensure that Kwarans get the quality healthcare they deserve.