Feature!!Federal Government And Governor Otti’s Unwavering Commitment To Healthcare in Abia: Fostering SDG 3 And 5 Indicators

Written By Kenechukwu Nwosu

Federal Government And Governor Ott
Since assuming office on May 29th, 2023, Governor Dr. Alex Chioma Otti OFR has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to healthcare in Abia State. His administration has made significant strides in improving healthcare, particularly in maternal and child health, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).
On July 3rd, 2024, Governor Otti commissioned a state-of-the-art multipurpose hospital in Ugwunagbo Local Government Area. Built through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), this 100-bed facility, located in Etitiala Autonomous Community, Ugwunagbo LGA, is equipped with world-class medical facilities and services.
 This establishment stands as a testament to Governor Otti’s dedication to reducing maternal and child mortality rates, thereby contributing to SDG 3.1, which aims to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.
Maternal health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), involves the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period. Ensuring positive experiences at each stage is crucial for both women and their babies to reach their full potential for health and well-being. The Mother and Child Centre addresses these needs by providing a supportive environment with skilled health professionals capable of timely management of complications such as excessive blood loss, infection, high blood pressure, and obstructed labor.
Governor Otti’s administration has also focused on renovating three general hospitals and securing accreditation for the Teaching Hospital for five years. This has enabled the training of 60 house officers and increased the college quota by 25%.
Additionally, the approval for the Nursing School to become a college and train community nurses and midwives marks another significant milestone.
The partnership with the Federal Government has further bolstered Abia State’s healthcare infrastructure.
 Notably, the approval to include Abia State in the CDC HIV response plan will channel over 500 million Naira in grants over five years. Furthermore, the World Bank Supported Immunization Impact Plus Project, with an access fund of over 3.8 million dollars, will support maternal and child health initiatives.
In alignment with SDG 3.2, which aims to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030, the state has undertaken several initiatives. These include the renovation of 27 Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities across 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs), inclusion of 4000 pensioners in the Basic Primary Health Care Provision Fund (BPHCPF) Insurance Scheme for free medical services, and the passage of the Drug Management Agency Bill by the state house of assembly.
The establishment of one comprehensive health facility per LGA and the completion of two general hospitals highlight the administration’s commitment to accessible healthcare.
 The Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) Centre of Excellence and the development of a medical village are set to further enhance healthcare delivery in the state.
The administration’s focus on maternal and child health programs, along with the full activation of the Abia State Health Insurance Scheme, ensures that healthcare services are not only available but also affordable to all citizens. This aligns with WHO’s emphasis on the need for high-quality care during and after childbirth to save the lives of women and newborns.
During the commissioning, Governor Otti highlighted that a quality, accessible, and efficient healthcare ecosystem is a priority in his administration’s strategy to transform Abia State into a premier destination for health tourism in Nigeria.
 He emphasized his administration’s commitment to quality healthcare delivery by allocating 15% of the 2024 budget to healthcare, in line with the Abuja Declaration. This initiative underscores the state’s dedication to achieving SDG 3 targets, particularly in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates.
The formation of a Facility Management Team was announced to ensure the hospital’s operational efficiency and sustainability. This team will maintain the hospital’s standards, ensuring it remains functional and up to standard.
 Additionally, Governor Otti ordered 24/7 security for the hospital, further emphasizing the administration’s commitment to healthcare.
A significant gesture highlighting the importance of inclusivity in healthcare was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess (Dr.) Adegoke Orelope-Adefulire, OFR. Originally designed as a Mother and Child Hospital, the facility was renamed to a Multipurpose Hospital to accommodate the healthcare needs of men, ensuring that everyone, regardless of gender, has access to quality and affordable healthcare. This decision aligns with SDG 5, which promotes gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
In conclusion, the achievements of Governor Dr. Alex Chioma Otti’s administration in the healthcare sector, particularly in maternal and child health, are commendable. The commissioning of the Multipurpose Hospital and the various healthcare initiatives underscore the state’s commitment to achieving SDG 3 and SDG 5. As Abia State continues to prioritize healthcare, it sets a benchmark for other states in Nigeria, ensuring that no Abian is left behind in the quest for quality health and well-being.
The Federal Government’s support in constructing the Multipurpose Hospital marks a significant collaboration in advancing healthcare in Abia State. This project exemplifies SDG 17 in action, demonstrating the power of partnerships to foster sustainable development. The combined efforts at the state and federal levels, facilitated through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), are pivotal in achieving the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, ultimately promoting the overall well-being of our communities.
Kenechukwu Nwosu is a renowned educationist and award-winning writer known for his insightful contributions to educational reforms and policy development. His dedication to sustainable development is evident through his strong advocacy for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nwosu’s work consistently highlights the importance of inclusive and equitable education, aiming to inspire positive change and social impact globally.

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