• Monday, May 20, 2024
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NSIA’s $5.5m diagnostic centre in Umuahia targets 70,000 patients in first year

NSIA’s $5.5m diagnostic centre in Umuahia targets 70,000 patients in first year

The $5.5 million modern medical diagnostic centre set up by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in Umuahia, Abia State capital, in partnership with the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia (FMCU), is targeting to serve as many as 70,000 clients within its first year of operation as well as provide direct employment opportunities to about 47 people.

Uche Orji, managing director, and chief executive officer of the NSIA, disclosed this at the virtual commissioning of the centre on Tuesday.

The centre is part of NSIA’s rescue mission in the country’s critical healthcare service delivery and is designed to serve the South East and South-South geo-political zones of the country. It is the third facility in NSIA’s expanding healthcare portfolio alongside the modern diagnostic facility also established by the NSIA in Kano, the NSIA Kano Diagnostic Centre (NKDC) and the NSIA LUTH Cancer Centre, Lagos (NLCC), and Orji said the NSIA was hopeful that its partnership with FMCU would continue to bear fruit as it gives consideration to collaborating with the medical centre on other specialties in line with its healthcare strategy.

“In the course of selecting the segments of NSIA’s healthcare strategy, Diagnostics was flagged as a key segment as we discovered that there was an acute deficit of modern and automated medical diagnostic infrastructure, which had led to the prevalence of delayed and inaccurate diagnosis for critical care cases,” Orji said.

READ ALSO: NSIA sets up $5.5m medical diagnostic centre in Umuahia

“Following years of project development, the NSIA-Umuahia Diagnostic Centre was built in 18 months and at a cost of approximately US$5.5 million. This is the largest and most modern diagnostic centre in the South-East and South-South region of the country and is expected to raise the bar in the quality and standard of diagnostic services for the benefit of the Nigerian people,” he said.

The NSIA managing director further said the authority’s vision for healthcare is a three-fold one which centres on reducing medical tourism, developing and investing in centres of excellence which will provide world-class healthcare services domestically, and providing tools which will ensure that Nigeria’s healthcare professionals are able to deliver at the highest level.

Speaking on the project, Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia State, said apart from investments in healthcare, the state was looking at several policy adjustments to broaden access to the most vulnerable within the state.

“We recognise that access to affordable healthcare continues to be a challenge for most households due to the high level of poverty and significant reliance on out-of-pocket expenses. To this point, the next major priority for me and the state is to lower the cost of healthcare and drugs while we continue to broaden access,” Ikpeazu said.

The governor added that “Abia is honoured to serve as the host community for this facility. It is a welcome development that we believe has come to redefine healthcare service in the region and as the leader of the state; I promised to support the facility by ensuring that there is an enabling environment for it to thrive for many generations to come.

Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, minister of Finance, in a keynote address, emphasised that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was placing a focus on greater investment in the healthcare sector and working to ensure increased access to safe, high-quality service for every Nigerian.

Olurunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for Health, in his remarks, urged the management team of NSIA-Umuahia Diagnostic Centre (NUDC) to take up the challenge of ensuring that the confidence reposed in them is earned by guaranteeing that the quality of service at the facility is never allowed to deteriorate.

“As a medical doctor, I understand the challenges of operating with sub-par equipment. The government is stepping in to address this difficulty and therefore, the team running the centre must justify the investment,” he said.