By Amina Aminu
Mr Nicolas Simard, the acting Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, has assured increased support toward improving the healthcare and education sectors.
He gave the assurance while presenting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gadgets and other equipment to the newly established Fistula Repair Centre at General Hospital Goronyo, Sokoto on Thursday.
He expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded on fistula repairs, rehabilitation and reintegration programmes, stressing that the success was a source of encouragement.
He said the Canadian Government provided funds through the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve womens’ healthcare, especially reproductive health, to augment government efforts on access to quality healthcare and access to education.
He added that “fistula patients from Sokoto and other parts of Nigeria have been operated on at the Goronyo centre and the women are now stronger; lives are being enhanced daily.”
The UNFPA Country Representative, Ms Ulla Mueller, also expressed satisfaction with the success recorded at the Fisula centre and other support services rendered to women and girls.
She commended the wife of the Sokoto Governor, Hajiya Maria Tambuwal, and the state government health workers for their commitment.
According to her, the rate of fistula cases in the country called for concern, reiterating UNFPA’s commitment to address the challenge, as well as maternal health, Gender Based Violence and other harmful practices.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Ali Inname, thanked the donors for the investment toward enhancing peoples’ lives, noting that the support would augment government’s efforts.
Inname said the Fistula Repair Centre located at the Maryam Abacha Women and Children’s Hospital had been upgraded with modern equipment for experts to conduct minor and complex fistula surgeries for patients from all over the country.
He said with the establishment of additional Fistula Repair Centre at Goronyo General Hospital, Sokoto State had became a hub for fistula treatment and assured of sustained programmes.
The commissioner said that the state government accorded priority to healthcare as modern hospitals and teaching hospitals were established and equipped.
Hajiya Kulu Sifawa, the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, said women in the state were major beneficiaries of the gestures and it had greatly impacted their lives.
Sifawa noted that women suffering and living with fistula for long period were treated, rehabilitated and reintegrated to their communities.
The Canadian High Commissioner and his delegation interacted with the fistula patients and health workers and inspected facilities at the centre.
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