Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
The Senate President Ahmed Lawan has said the National Assembly was committed to strengthening the nation’s health sector.
He gave the assurance in Nnewi Anambra State during the commissioning of the N500m isolation centre at the permanent site of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, assuring Nigerians of a better health system.
Represented by Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Lawan said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the littleness of the country’s health sector, pledging lawmakers’ synergy with the executive towards revamping the sector.
He said: “We’ll continue to make our health sector that’s exposed by the COVID-19 to be very weak and infrastructurally poor, stronger and more efficient.
“In the revised 2020 budget in the health sector, every state in Nigeria has been made to have one 30-bed infectious disease hospital to forestall any pandemic or other emergency situations.
“Every state will have a 10-bed ICU center. Every of the 52 Teaching Hospitals including that of NAUTH will have one fully molecular diagnostic laboratory.
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“From the 500bn allocated in the budget for COVID-19, the health sector got 126b. It’s with these funds that we’re providing all these.”
While commending the initiator of the project, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah for the stride amidst economic hardship occasioned by the pandemic, Lawan called on others to support the project to ensure its full operation.
Ubah said the project was part of the solutions to the effects of the pandemic, adding that it would be replicated in the three geopolitical districts of the state.
He said, “We the Anambra Progressives have agreed that we will not sit back and watch government to provide everything. We will not wait for the government to do the things we know we can do.
“We’re constructing three Medical/Surgical Centres with specific specialties in different health areas in Nnewi, Awka, and Nsugbe.
“We also plan to build Anambra Progressives industrial layout for job creation for our teeming youths.”