Health

Kwara Begins Construction of Hospital Complex at Civil Service Clinic

Huge construction works are now underway as the Kwara State Government approved a new multi-storey hospital complex at the popular Civil Service Clinic.

The massive building, which will eat up the existing structure and extend beyond it, comes amid incredible population growth and rising needs for quality secondary health services in the capital city.

The multi-storey facility will also decongest the swelling traffic from the General Hospital Ilorin, which has now become a tertiary hospital to train student doctors from the Kwara State University (KWASU).

At the cabinet meeting where an approval was secured for the project, Commissioner for Health Dr. Amina Ahmed el-Imam said the facility is required as the current physical infrastructure at the civil service clinic “deserves both renewal and expansion in order to sustain the desired high quality of service and high patronage from the public”, adding that such expansion will “mitigate the space constraints experienced currently which has hampered its functionality to meet up with the growing demands for basic health care services”.

She said the contract is awarded to Craneburg Construction Ltd at N12.4bn for a duration of 18 months.

The government has officially shut down the civil service clinic as the construction work gets underway, with its in-patients already transferred to some other government facilities, especially Sobi Specialist Hospital at Alagbado in Ilorin.

The government, meanwhile, has approved a request of the Al-Hikmah University to train its medical students at the Sobi Specialist Hospital — another public facility that has received massive investments under the AbdulRazaq administration.

The terms of the relationship will be inked in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is due for signing soon.

The development comes as the private university ramps up its accreditation procedures for the newly newly approved medical programme by the Governing Council of the University ahead of its 2024/2025 academic session.

Speaking at the recent council meeting, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said the new civil service hospital will have world-class facilities and compete with any well-run private facilities, adding: “There is a need for better and well-equipped facilities with modern x-ray equipment. What we are trying to do is to build a world-class hospital and remove the psychological inertia associated with (the poor state of) public facilities. We are trying to put in place something you can or differenti ate from what you can access in private facilities in terms of the quality of care and facilities. The area it serves includes GRA down to Amoyo and others. There is clearly a need to provide a new facility to serve a growing population in the capital city. This will serve the population from GRA down to Amoyo area.

“There is a need to get our secondary healthcare right. We have pumped a lot of resources into primary healthcare. The idea is that if we get our primary healthcare right, it reduces the traffic to the secondary hospitals. Yes, it does. But as we all grow older, there are cases that require management at secondary or tertiary facilities. As we have a higher ageing population and demographies are also changing, we need to be prepared, especially in the health sector. We also need to achieve reverse tourism in the health sector. Many people are travelling out of Kwara to have access to some health facilities. We want to have facilities that will stop such medical tourism. That’s why I’m excited at the cancer centre by BUA. It will complement what we are doing as well as the $7m diagnostic centre of the Federal Government. We want to make sure that Kwara is a place to go to for quality healthcare.”

Acting on a memorandum read by the Commissioner for Works and Transport Engr Abdulquawiy Olododo, the cabinet had also approved the rehabilitation works and upgrade of the road connecting Post Office, Emir’s Road, and Isale Oja, completely changing the outlook of the entire stretch.

The council had also approved different agricultural programmes totalling N2.9bn to support wet season farming among genuine farmers who are properly registered and boost food security, including N1.4bn worth of fertilizers and N567m seed and agrochemical inputs, and clearing of 715 hectares of farmlands at the special agroprocessing zone and another 714 hectares of farmlands at Malete Integrated Youth Farm Training Centre.

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mrs Oloruntoyosi Thomas told the council that these interventions are necessary to boost food security in the state.

“Investment in high quality seeds, fertilisers, and agro-chemicals seek to improve crop yields, promote crop diversification, and ultimately contribute to the economic growth of Kwara State,” she said.

“Council may further wish to note that timely access to these agricultural inputs is essential for the success for the success of the 2024 wet season farming. Prompt support will play a crucial role in mitigating crop losses, thereby securing better yields and enhancing food security across the state.”

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