Since the onset of its operation as the foremost federal government intervention agency in the war-torn Northeast Nigeria, Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) has executed critical projects that have so far transformed many healthcare delivery centres in the subregion.
Under the administrative leadership of its Managing Director, Goni Alkali, there seemed to be no dull moments for NEDC in the two years.
This was not known by many Nigerians until recently when The Humanitarian Times editorial team carried out some independent assessment of the activities of the Commission since 2020 when it began full operation.
In line with the known niche of The Humanitarian Times, a critical look at the NEDC intervention in the healthcare sector was one of the areas we beamed our light of appraisal in line with goal number-4 of the SDG which emphasised the need to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
In the years under review, the Goni Alkali-led team has made a significant impact in the Primary Healthcare Sector in all the six states that define NEDC’s core areas of responsibility.
This is in addition to the general supply of assorted drugs and medical consumables across many of the health facilities in the states.
Primary HealthCare Interventions
According to our independent findings, the NEDC has so far established, renovated and equipped at least two primary healthcare, or a tertiary health centres in each of the six states.
In Borno state, the Commission had established a PHCC at Kwaya Kusar and Shani local government areas that are currently serving and addressing the needs of the communities.
Two PHCCs were renovated in two separate communities under the Funakaye local government area of the state. To meet with the yearnings of the people, NEDC had also, in Gombe state upgraded, equipped and furnished a former PHCC to a full-fledged General hospital located at Boh village in Shongom local government area.
Another four sets of PHCCs were renovated in four different communities within Nafada local government area to address the gross inadequacy of health care in those remote rural areas.
These were also replicated in the four other states of Bauchi, Adamawa, Taraba and Yobe.
Tertiary Health Interventions
To boost adequate delivery of health care and in line with goal 17 of the SDG, the Goni Alkali-led team at NEDC had carried out unprecedented interventions in virtually all the tertiary health institutions across the subregion.
The Humanitarian Times investigations had discovered that NEDC did not only construct but also fully equip a state of the earth Polio-Safety Level 2 Virology Laboratory at the Federal Medical Center in Jalingo, Taraba state.
A state-of-the-art Burns Center was built and equipped with facilities and 500kVA generators at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and the Federal University of Technology, Yola.
A solar power installation project was executed at the Gombe General hospital to address the constant electricity needs of patients and medical personnel there.
A modern triange rehabilitation centre was built at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi state, as well as the equipping of eye care centre, and the equipping of Ophthalmology Center at Federal Medical Centre, Azare.
The Humanitarian Times reporting crew has also visited the Ningi on a tour of the facility at the National Obstetrics and Fistula Center where NEDC carried out a full rehabilitation of a skills acquisition centre meant for survivors of VVF.
In line with goal-17 of the SDG, the NEDC in its sustained policy of a collaborative approach to solving the basic societal problems had donated a 500KVA power generator, a sophisticated X-ray machine as well as ultrasound scanning machine to the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Maiduguri support the state in providing sustainable medical service to folks with mental health challenges.
Giving a background to the motivations driving NEDC’s policy direction of healthcare delivery, the MD of the Commission, Goni Alkali, said “the 13 years of Boko Haram has brought about several health challenges to the people.”