IN what would give a new lease of life to children suffering from diabetes, the Federal Government has ordered the Ministry of Health to commence the immediate free treatment of diabetic children in all government owned hospitals across the country.
Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu disclosed this in Abuja Thursday while giving the mid-term report of the achievements of the present administration.
He said henceforth all children suffering from diabetes whose parents are registered with the national health insurance scheme irrespective of their location across the country would enjoy the free service.
He reiterated the need for parents to key into the scheme which require a monthly contribution of N150 to gain access to the medicare. Onyebuchi said the scheme has been highly subsidised by government in order for the informal sector to be accommodated.
The minister said only about one per cent of Nigerians can now have reasons for travelling abroad for medical treatment, noting that all necessary equipment for diagnosis and treatment were now available both in government and private hospitals.
Giving instances of equipment installed in the past few years, the minister said bone marrow transplant, open heart surgery, kidney transplant, microsurgery, laparoscopic surgery, total knee and hip replacement and other medical interventions that usually take people abroad can now be handled in teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
He noted that anyone who chooses to go abroad for treatment does so for personal reason and the government would not trample on anyone’s fundamental human right.
According to the minister, his ministry has successfully combined infrastructural development with health service delivery. He explained that the rehabilitation and equipping of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital and that of University of Benin had already been completed while Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital have reached 80 per cent completion.
He said his ministry was also able to establish trauma centres both in the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada and the national hospital. Onyebuchi said during the period under review, the Federal Government doubled the funding of polio eradication activities to N4.7 billion and made a further commitment of N2.5 billion in the current year. This action, he said brought about a new robust polio eradication emergency plan with an accountability framework.