First Lady of Nigeria, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has urged well-meaning Nigerians and private sector organizations to complement government efforts especially on projects that seek to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens of this country. She was speaking during the commissioning of the Prof. Felicia Onumah Diabetic and Endocrine Center at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital on Thursday 9th December 2021.
Mrs. Buhari expressed happiness with the development of the center, which is the first stand-alone diabetic and endocrine center in Nigeria, and “because it tallies with my concern and passion for the health and well-being of the citizens of this country.” She commended the partnership that made the establishment of the center possible.
She spoke on the need for more awareness campaigns on diabetes and a mandatory diabetes screening for women especially during pregnancy; she also urged for the screening of infants within 72hours of birth. Mrs. Buhari congratulated Professor Felicia Onumah, who initiated the process of the establishment of the center and after whom it was named.
In a welcome remark, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Professor Bisallah Ekele said the center shall provide specialist clinical care to patients with endocrine disorders; offer teaching and training opportunities to undergraduates, resident doctors, and other health care practitioners, and shall become a hub for research activities.
Also speaking during the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP SDG), Princess Adejoke Adefulire, said the center is the first of its kind constructed and fully equipped by her Office (OSSAP-SDGs). She also noted that with the COVID-19 pandemic challenging the healthcare system, strategic interventions, such as this Endocrine Centre, have become imperative. She added that the primary and secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse decades of human development gains and undermine the achievement of the SDGs, unless immediate action is taken and sustained. This, she said, is what such interventions are trying to achieve.
She informed the gathering that the SDG-3.4.1, aims to reduce the ‘mortality rate attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease’, and from official statistics, diabetes affects an estimated 5.7 percent or 6 million Nigerians.
The center came equipped with a dual 120 Seater Lecture Theatre/Seminar Room; 4-Bed Male and Female Private Wards; Treatment rooms; In-house Pharmacy; Endocrine Laboratory; Consulting rooms; Hybrid Electronic Laboratory; and fully computerized facilities.
The highlight of the event, which was attended by the Minister of Health, Prof. Osagie Ehanire among other dignitaries in the health sector, was the commissioning of the center.
Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
(Office of the First Lady)