The Borno State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Salisu Kwaya-Bura, says the state government has recruited over 30 doctors and 100 nurses and midwives within the past one year.
Mr Kwaya-Bura stated this on Thursday in Maiduguri while briefing journalists on activities of the ministry in the past one year.
He said over 200 retired health workers, particularly nurses and midwives, were re-engaged by the government to boost manpower for effective healthcare delivery in the various health centres across the state.
The commissioner said the administration had increased students’ capacity of Borno College of Nursing and Midwifery from 50 to 100.
He said new courses on community health that would lead to admission of over 200 students were introduced for the state to have more middle cadre health workers.
Mr Kwaya-Bura said the state government had completed 12 of the 37 new primary healthcare centres embarked upon in 17 local government areas of the state.
The commissioner added that the state psychiatric and skin disease hospitals were rehabilitated, while the General Hospital, Biu, was upgraded to a specialist hospital.
“Governor Zulum also established and funded a Contributory Healthcare Scheme to increase access to quality and affordable healthcare services by the people of Borno,” Mr Kwaya-Bura said.
He noted the rising cases of renal diseases in the state, and said the governor had set up a committee to investigate the issue, and directed all patients of renal diseases to be provided free dialysis.
“An average of 135 sessions monthly were being performed free to patients since the flag-off of the exercise in December 2019,” the commissioner said.
He said 18 new ambulances were procured and distributed to some hospitals.
On the fight against COVID-19, the commissioner said that the government was very committed and had taken some innovative measures to contain the situation.
Mr Kwaya-Bura said the measures attracted commendation from the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.
“We put a lot of innovations in place. We are the first state in the country to have a document that guided our operations and response to COVID-19.
“We are the first state to see to it that not all positive cases are taken to isolation centres but managed at home under strict supervision,” he said.
The commissioner explained that the innovation was responsible for the curing of many cases at home and not flooding the state 100-bed capacity isolation centre by patients.
He blamed the rising number of positive cases in the state in the past three weeks on non-compliance to government directives such as suspending inter-state travels.
The commissioner said most of the COVID-19 cases in the state were from passengers intercepted while entering the state.
“Cases are actually people who have total disregard to the Federal Government’s restriction order on inter-state travel.
“So, our strategy to ensure that everyone coming into Maiduguri is tested is what has given us this risen number of cases,” Mr Kwaya-Bura said.