Lafia residents travel 200km for tertiary healthcare — Al-Makura

The senator representing Nasarawa South in the National Assembly, Umar Tanko Al-Makura, has said that the residents of Lafia, the state capital, and its environs live in danger without the establishment of a teaching hospital in the capital city.

Al-Makura, who is also a former governor of the state, said this in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists at the sideline of a public hearing on a bill seeking to establish a Teaching Hospital for Federal University, Lafia.

He lamented that it was not acceptable for Lafia residents to travel for 200km before they could get tertiary healthcare services.

He said the situation was causing avoidable deaths of people in need of such services.

“If you look at the location of Lafia in Nasarawa State, you will see that people within Lafia will travel up to 200Km before they can access tertiary or referral health services and that is not acceptable in the 21st century,” he said.

The lawmaker noted that the tertiary healthcare institution is needed in the Lafia axis and Nasarawa State as a whole in view of the prevailing population explosion.

“If you look at the population explosion within the vicinity of Lafia at the moment, the population of Nasarawa State is about 4 to 5 million, half of which are the people from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT, Abuja),” he explained.

Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osage Ehanire, said the federal government had commenced the process of upgrading the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi in Nasarawa State to a teaching hospital.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is already working on a proposal on upgrading some federal medical centres to teaching hospitals, including the one in Keffi, Nasarawa State,” he said.

At the end of the public hearing, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central), told the stakeholders that the aggregate of views expressed will reflect in the final report that will be submitted to the Senate.

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