The Federal Government said it would continue to support surgeons to boost their key role in quality healthcare delivery.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who made the pledge in Abuja, at the 60th Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference of West African College of Surgeons (WACS) and Scientists, also commended surgeons’ exemplary commitment to duty over the years.
Represented by the Minister of State for Health, Mr Olorunnibe Mamora, the President said that the implementation of the residency training Act of 2017 had helped the surgical college to improve its training viability.
He said that WACS had excelled in the last six decades of its existence in its primary responsibility of training specialists.
“The college has excelled in the last six decades; this has reduced mortality ratio, particularly the maternal/child ratio.
“The implementation of the residency training Act of 2017, which was signed into law in June 2018, is significant to the improved viability of the college.
“We are making more effort at improving the deficiency in infrastructural equipment by the rehabilitation of our tertiary facilities.
“Modernisation work is currently ongoing at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital,” he said.
Buhari said that the government was very proud of WACS surgical outreach which was carried out in the FCT, Nasarawa, Niger and Kebbi states.
He added that the operations had really brought succor to many Nigerians.
Buhari said that the WACS conference was important as it would give the country the opportunity to reflect on the achievements and challenges of the healthcare system.
He, however, called on other organizations to emulate the act of giving free medical care to citizens as was done by WACS, adding that the country would be a better place if others emulated that kind gesture.
The Minister of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello, in a remark, expressed happiness over the hosting of the conference in Abuja, stating that members of the college were held in high esteem, especially after the free medical surgeries in FCT.
He said that over 1,700 surgeries were carried out successfully by WACS and that the FCT would continue to provide support to the college to make the people continue to feel its impact.
“We are happy that it is during our tenure that the land for your headquarters was allocated.
”We assure you that as you expand your operations, we will support you,” he said.
Dr. Stanley Okolo, President, West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), asked for more support for WAHO as the health sector was the most demanding in the West African sub-region.
According to him, the health sector is consuming about 25 percent of the annual budget of each country in West Africa.
“There is a need to give maximum support to this sector to ease the realization of desired goals.
“If there is no upward support given to the health sector, there cannot be upward changes in the result expected from the sector,” he pointed out.
President of WACS, Prof. Sereigne Guege, said that the college was determined to continue to set standards for West African countries.
He said that the college would continue to offer support in the area of capacity building toward quality service delivery in the West African sub-region.