The Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday called on well-meaning Nigerians and development partners to complement the Federal Government efforts to eradicate preventable child and maternal death.
Buhari made the call while performing the ground breaking ceremony of a 250-bed Specialist Hospital project by the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NOWA) in Asokoro, Abuja.
She was represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Administration, Dr Hajo Sani.
Buhari said that the hospital, when completed, would complement the army’s efforts in providing quality and accessible healthcare services to the personnel and their families, as well as other Nigerians.
“I am happy to note that while men of the Nigerian Army are out there making us proud, curbing insurgency, the army officers’ wives under NAOWA, are implementing programmes toward improving the health and wellbeing of the families.
“As you are aware, health facilities are important parts of any community. Therefore, for families to live healthy goes beyond provision of clean environment and good nutrition.
“It also includes professional medical advice, diagnosis and prescription which can only be available in the health centres or facilities with qualified medical personnel,’’ she said.
Buhari commended NAOWA for the project, which she said was in line with the Federal Government’s policy on access to quality, efficient and comprehensive healthcare services to all Nigerians.
“This is also in line with my advocacy for the improvement of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health,’’ she said.
Buhari said that while the death of a mother was a tragedy in itself, it has devastating effect on the surviving child, as well as economic stability of society.
Earlier, the NAOWA President, Mrs Umma-Kalsum Buratai, said that the association had continued to advocate healthy living with emphasis on preventable maternal and child death.
“It is pertinent to note that about 50 per cent of the maternal and child death occurs in our society as a result of lack of access to modern medical care.
“Thousands of Nigerian women die daily from medical conditions that are largely preventable,’’ Buratai said.
She said that the hospital, when completed, would help in preventing obstetric hemorrhage, malaria during pregnancy, breast cancer, cervical cancer, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS, among other ailments.
“We are aware that the military profession is very hazardous.
“The nature of the profession has left many young women as widows, creating challenges for their families in accessing essential amenities and basic healthcare requirement.
“It is in our resolve to complement the existing medical facilities within the barracks community that we are embarking on the construction of an ultra-modern specialist hospital equipped with standard facilities,’’ she said.
The NAOWA president said that the facility would cater for the health needs of the orphans, less privileged, barracks women, children and the surrounding communities.