The Federal Government has appealed to religious leaders in the country to restructure its hospitals to help improve the nation’s healthcare system.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Engr. Adebiyi Olufunsho, made this appeal on Tuesday at the commissioning of the modern hemodialysis machines and other equipment donated to the Federal Medical Centre by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints in Abuja.
According to Olufunsho, years ago, missionary hospitals were one of the largest hospitals in the country, adding that restructuring will help reduce the burden on public hospitals.
He stated, “In those days, one of the best hospitals you see in Nigeria are missionary hospitals.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our religious leaders to go back to those old religions and revisit the construction of hospitals that would be affordable to the average Nigerian.
“I appeal to our rich men and wealthy Nigerians to come to the aid of our health centres. The population is enormous. Government is trying, but the population is quite enormous.”
Olufunsho said that the donated machines – three modern hemodialysis machines, three electric dialysis chairs, two patient monitors, two infusion pumps; three syringe pumps, and two infant incubators will provide excellent clinical service delivery to Nigerians seeking health services.
“I strongly believe that this medical equipment will go a long way in preserving and elongating the lives of our patients who are suffering from kidney and infant-related conditions.
“With these new additions, the hospital will be able to treat more renal patients timely, and also more infants will benefit from the incubator care.”
He implored the hospital management to ensure adequate maintenance of these lifesaving machines since this approach would be cheaper than procuring new ones.
In his speech, the President, West Africa Area, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Elder Gifford Nielsen, said the church has been involved in humanitarian services in Nigeria, adding that it has donated $27 million to various projects throughout Nigeria.
Nielsen noted, “Over the course of the last few years, the Church has developed a special relationship with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health as part of our humanitarian efforts.
“During this time, we have donated $27 million to various projects throughout Nigeria.
“These projects include collaboration with the Nigerian Eye Foundation, the Paediatric Association of Nigeria, and the World Health Organisation. We are expecting to donate an additional $3.5 million in 2023.”
He added that his church has consistently supported the Ministry of Health by funding key projects that will “benefit the people of Nigeria and contribute to the social, economic, and spiritual health of each of the states and the country as a whole.
“Today we will help relieve some of the burden of our medical heroes, ease the suffering of our fellow Nigerians, and save lives.”