The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) has in the last three years under the management lead of Professor Ahmed Ahijo, been able to secure several state-of-the-earth projects worth about N14 billion.
This was disclosed to The Humanitarian Times by the Chief Medical Director, Professor Ahijo during an investigative tour of facility.
It is on record that the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, had in November 2020 commissioned three dominant projects of the teaching hospital which included an ultra-modern 150-bed trauma centre, a new General Outpatient department, a multipurpose auditorium and an international conference centre, complex for National Health Insurance Scheme, a new hostel for UMTH School of Nursing.
All the five projects were executed under the tenure of the current CMD, Professor Ahijo, who took over as chief executive of the UMTH in September 2018.
These landmark projects were done at the same time numerous other upgrades and equipment replacement and overhaul are going within the hospital.
The CMD said within the last three years UMTH had witnessed unrivalled quantum lip in terms of infrastructure development since its establishment in July 1983.
Professor Ahijo is not known for bragging, and if he is tempted to, he does it with overflowing receipts.
A 45 minutes tour of the fast-expanding teaching hospital left our reporter awed at the silent wave of landmark development going on within the nearly 40 years old health facility as the CMD showed even newer and bigger legacy projects that would in no distant times place UMTH as not only a centre of excellence but a Tajmahal of medical health care in Northern Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole.
Currently, a 35-bed capacity kidney centre with transplant theatre, ICU etc is almost at the peak of completion.
Professor Ahijo has also been able to bring in “the first purposely built centre for stroke in the whole of West Africa”, of which work is almost at 80 per cent completion stage.
To tackle the devastation of cancer the CMD has also idealized the need for a first of its kind Cancer centre:- which is also on the verge of nearly being furnished. The signature of this centre is going to be its four states of the earth concrete bunkers with about 2.5 meters of concrete walls and roofings where all the radiation-emitting machines would be housed.
There is a proposed state of the earth Child Institute that is at the completion stage which is going to be a one-stop-shop for all paediatrics cases.
Ahijo said there is “vertical expansion also going on at the Haematology and Histopathology, Radiology departments where more floors are being built on top of the existing structures. And each new floor are decked for future vertical expansion.
“We have been able to bring projects and equipment both in new and upgrade of existing ones worth over N14 billion,” he said.
“We have installed new equipment at the mammography, radiology, endoscopy departments while building new clinics and our buildings are extremely cheap having been built at a minimum cost.”
Ahijo said he ensured that the building and constructed at highly cheaper costs.
“For example, the trauma centre was less than N500 million, while the Child institute is about N500 million, with equipment inclusive”.
He said while all the wards and laboratories are being renovated the entire flooring of the hospital have been reworked with granite of a square meter each goes for about N10,000. Solar lighting in all the corridors.
“We have no money to do all this on our own but we have the creative skills of getting government and even private persons to come in and support us here.
That’s why today we have road network done for us, we have banks here, and we have even electricity project provided to us by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which is going to bring a major solution to our power needs,” he said.
Details of these numerous projects would be spotlighted by The Humanitarian Times in subsequent publications that will be highlighting the milestones of Professor Ahijo.