By: Wisdom Acka
The FCT Administration has taken the delivery of high tech newborn equipment donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Donated to Asokoro District and Nyanya General Hospitals, the multi-million dollar equipment are meant to boost capacity of FCTA hospitals in saving the lives of newborn babies in the Territory and environs.
Receiving the state-of-the-arts facilities at a brief handover ceremony, Wednesday, at Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, Director General, FCT Hospitals Management Board, Dr. Mohammed Kawu, said the equipment would go a long way in reducing neonatal morbidity and mortality in the FCT and country.
Kawu noted that “although the benefiting hospitals already have similar equipment for managing neurones before now, we appreciate this support a lot. The equipment are really modern and high tech equipment from the USAID.
Corroborating, Chief Medical Director, Asokoro Hospital, Dr. Afiomah Uche, said that the equipment were critical medical in assisting the health personnel to ensure accelerated reduction of new born and prenatal mortal and morbidity.
According to her, the donation has also increased the hospital’s bed space to twelve, and was adding value to the facility that serves as a regional reference centre, which gets admissions from outside City and neighbouring states.
She said: “We have received equipment for treatment of jaundice, we have warmers to keep babies warm, syringe pumps, and other equipment in order to ensure that babies, especially the very small and sick ones survive and are able to do well in life.
“The FCTA employs highly trained personnel, who have been in neonatal unit, and have garnared neonatal capacity for many years, so receiving these equipment and training, they would effectively use and maintain them,” she added.
“We have them (the equipment) already, but the number was increased, so we are now able to ensure more families are going benefit from healthcare delivery in this facility,” she emphasized.
Similarly, Chief Medical Director, Nyanya District Hospital, Dr. Hadiza Idris Bage, stated that “more children of the poorest of the poor are going to benefit immensely as they are going to get the best of services because of the donations made”.
She said: “The kind of donations made to Asokoro District Hospital were also given to Nyanya General Hospital, so the poorest of the poor will get quality services”.
While making the donation, Director, USAID Health Population and Nutrition Office, Paul McDermott noted that specialized equipment and technology were essential for
the survival of small and sick newborns.
McDermott added that specialised equipment such as continuous positive airway pressure machines and incubators were often needed to support breathing and regulate temperature of infants.
He disclosed that scaled up training within FCT will be supported by USAID’S Integrated Health programme, as part of USAID implementing partners’ collaborative effort.
He said: “Today, USAID through its Momentum Country Global Leadership, Quality of Care (MCGL QoC) activity in partnership with NEST360 is providing over some specialized equipment to FCTA to help end preventable newborn deaths and improve the quality of care for mothers and children in Nigeria.”
“To help reduce the knowledge gap and increase the capacity of health providers to maintain
specialized medical equipment in Nigeria, USAID MCGL QOC, NEST 360, in partnership with the
Federal Ministry of Health, trained biomedical engineers and technicians (BMET), he said.
His words: “This included two personnel from each of the 36 states and the FCT on the use and maintenance of this equipment. In turn, this initial cadre of technicians will train other BMETs in their respective
“l also acknowledge the productive collaboration with the teams of Asokoro and Nyanya hospitals, which has led us here to a successful handover”, he said.