• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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NSIA sets up $5.5m medical diagnostic centre in Umuahia

diagnostic centre

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on Tuesday commissioned a $5.5 million ultra-modern diagnostic centre it built in Umuahia, Abia state to deepen access to quality health care in the South East and South South regions of the country.

The NSIA – Umuahia Diagnostic Centre (NUDC) facility is the second advanced diagnostic centre to be commissioned by the NSIA in 6 months and the third healthcare centre of excellence operationalized by the Authority following the commencement of services at the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre in Lagos in 2019 and the NSIA-Kano Diagnostic Centre in Kano in 2020.

The Centre was co-commissioned by Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State and Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning and joined by Adeleke Mamora, Minister of State for Health as well as Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning at a virtual event hosted by the NSIA.

Uche Orji, MD/CEO, NSIA speaking at the Virtual commissioning of the project said that investing in the Health care sector remains a top priority for the NSIA.

“Health care is one of our major areas of focus, and so we are working in partnership with ministry of health, ministry of finance and other relevant to ensure we deliver on our projects”.

“Our vision for the health care is to reduce the level of health care tourism, provide affordable and quality health care to the people, provide tools that will make sure that our health professionals attain the highest level of their profession,” Orji noted.

Speaking further, he stressed on the need for private sector investment to aid delivery of such health projects for public use. “The private sector has to come in and this is a typical example of what we can achieve with the private sector involvement”.

Structured under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement between the NSIA and the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia FMCU, the project is a US$5.5 million greenfield investment for the construction, equipping and operation of full-range advanced diagnostic centre co-located in FMCU.

The centre is equipped with a gamut of radiology equipment including a CT scanner, X-ray machines, mammography machines and ultrasound machines.

NSIA and its partners expect that the centre which is operated by Statpath – a joint venture company between Synlab (formerly Pathcare) and Crestview will conduct up to 35,000 patient investigations within the first year of operation, providing high quality diagnostic services that had previously been unavailable in the two southern regions.

Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National planning in her remark noted that the project is in line with the President’s commitment to improve the quality of health care across the country, adding that with focus on greater investment in the sector, the government is working to ensure increased access to safe, high quality health care for all Nigerians.

“We are working to effect policies to remove constraints in the health sector, create sustainable structures to strengthen health care institutions for the benefit of the people.

“We acknowledge the modest but laudable strides that this administration has made through the partnership with the Nigeria Sovereign Invetsment Authority and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia,” Ahmed commended.

The Minister further said that it has become imperative to support and outline policies that will help drive investment in the health care sector as a measure to alleviate the disease burden of Nigerians.

Her words: “One of such step we are taking in this direction is the direct intervention in addressing non communicable disease such as cancer, we have created an enabling environment for institutions such as NSIA to execute high impact project to deliver immerse value for the people of Nigeria.

“This administration recognises that progress in the health sector handicapped by several bottlenecks, with full appreciation of these issues we have worked to ensure that systems are introduced to bridge these gaps”.

“We recognise that this modest effort is not sufficient to address all the challenges, we expect private investors to increase participation so that we can have more of such health care facilities”.

Minister of State for Health, Olurunnimbe Mamora, noted that diagnosis is the most important aspect of patient management, but regretted that the most common form of diagnosis in Nigeria has been clinical diagnosis due to dearth of facilities.

“The kind of training doctors go through in Nigeria is such that they do not have access to some of these diagnostic tools. So often times what we do is clinical diagnosis, by listening to your patient history and examining the patient, but you need to go beyond that to the realm of laboratory diagnosis. You must be able to make accurate diagnosis for you to effectively manage your patient”, he said.

The minister urged the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia to ensure that the facility are properly managed.

Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia State expressed his delight that the diagnostic centre is established in Umuahia, the state’s capital to not only serve the South-east region, but the entire south-south and complement the growing stock of health care infrastructure.

The governor, noted that access to affordable health care is still a challenge to most households due to high level of poverty and significant reliance on out of pocket expenses. He informed that the next priority for his adminstration is to lower the cost of health care, drugs and broaden access.

Ikpeazu explained that the NSIA UDC is a full service diagnostic facility that will provide comprehensive radiology and Laboratory services to ensure the highest quality of health care for all Nigerians. He stressed that accurate diagnosis is at the jugular of clinical interventions.

He also said the centre will curb the medical tourism.

The governor charged government at all levels to priotitize health care especially as the nation is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The society must begin to study and understand the intricate interconnectedness between the health of its people and the productivity and the natikbs economic growth as a whole . Health us wealth, a healthy nation us a wealthy nation”, he added.

Ikpeazu however noted that finding patronage for the facility will not be a problem at all as Abia is at the confluence of seven states and has a catchment business population of over 60 people who come in on daily basis to the two major cities of Aba and umuahia,

Azubuike Onyebuchi, Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, in his remark said that the centre is a full-service diagnostic facility that will provide automated laboratory and radiological diagnostic services, to ensure the highest quality of care.

“Our vision is to ensure the provision of state–of-the-art facilities for quality service delivery, research and training to cater for the needs of the community. The establishment of the NSIA-Umuahia Diagnostic Centre takes us a step closer to achieving this vision”.

“We are convinced that the NSIA’s decision to establish the NUDC in FMCU will serve the South East as well as the South South region and complement the service provision within the FMCU”.

Onyebuchi noted that the project demonstrates the feasibility of public-private partnerships adding that it will lead to the development of several more novel projects, and assuring it will be well managed.