In a move that will scale up the performance of health services in the country, the federal government said it would support and collaborate with religious groups in the improvement of healthcare service delivery in the country. Minister of state and Supervising Minister for Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, made this known at the unveiling of a hospital built in Sokoto by the Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese. He noted that government would continue to encourage such gesture, as it will help in reducing the burden of healthcare on the part of government.
Alhasssan insisted, “Government would continue to support religious organisations wishing to provide healthcare to the people.”
The hospital, Holy Family Mother Care Clinic, built by the Catholic Church, was opened by Sultan of Sokoto, HRH Sa’ad Abubakar III; a demonstration of what Christians and Muslims coming together could achieve in upgrading healthcare services in Nigeria. Khaliru noted that interfaith collaboration “in the country has helped address some key challenges facing health adding that such collaboration can even help improve the health indices in the country”.
He added the hospital project was “a lot relevant to the aims and objectives of the federal government to ensure safety and medical health of all and sundry.”
The Sultan while launching the hospital said providing healthcare was not a prerogative of government alone but a “collective responsibility,” alone. He urged religious leaders to assist in changing the orientations of their followers so that they can become more conscious of their health. “We all need to take care of our health and we can only do that when we regularly visit clinics,” he said. Archbishop of the Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese, Most Revered Mathew Kukah, said the hospital was open to all women and children of Sokoto irrespective of religious background.
According to him these are efforts to reduce maternal and child deaths, adding that the presence and accessibility of clinics is crucial to encouraging more women to give birth in hospitals.
Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was present at the inauguration, donated an ambulance to assist Holy Family Mother Care Clinic, urging families to insist on antenatal care for pregnant women and postnatal care after childbirth.