Seven tertiary hospitals in Nigeria have been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and personnel to undertake kidney transplant, the local VANGUARD newspaper quoted the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, as saying Thursday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital city.
It also quoted the minister, who was speaking at the 2013 Ministerial Platform, as also saying that the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital had the capacity to undertake open heart surgery.
The minister said: “With this achievements and improvement in the health sector, there is no need for anyone to leave Nigeria to other countries for medical treatment, apart from cases where we do not have expertise in Nigeria because no country in the world can provide all the health needs of its people”.
He noted that in an effort to ensure that Nigerians imbibed healthy lifestyle, his ministry was intensifying efforts and collaborating with members of the National Assembly to ensure that the tobacco bill became law.
This, according to him, will moderate the smoking habit of the people and prevent them from contracting deadly diseases, such as cancer, lungs diseases and many others.
“In the same vein, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is also reviewing its laws to provide stiffer penalty for fake drug manufacturers and importers,” he stressed.
The minister also revealed that, “very soon, herbal medicine will soon be introduced in our medical schools. This is because before you treat any disease, you must have the ability to diagnose it and administer the needed treatment. Herbal medicine practitioners will be given the needed training to perform optimally. ”
He charged Nigerians to embrace the various health insurance programmes introduced by the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, stressing that for Nigerians to have access to affordable, effective and efficient healthcare services, health insurance was the way to go.
Also speaking at the platform, the Minister of State for Health, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, said that between 2009 to 2012, Nigeria had been able to reduce maternal mortality rate by 47 per cent.
He assured that with the current efforts of the President Jonathan-led government, polio would soon be a thing of the past in the country.
“Since the beginning of this year, we have had only 25 polio cases in the country which are mainly from the states like Borno and Yobe which are bedeviled with security challenges,” he noted.
Pate reiterated that the effort of the federal government had led to the successes recorded in the total eradication of guinea worm diseases, for which the World Health Organisation (WHO) will give Nigeria guinea worm free certification this month.
“Meningitis outbreak has also become a thing of the past in this country,” he stressed.