University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital to build Heart Disease and Informatics Centres

Mohammed Kaka Misau

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, has hinted that preparations have been concluded to construct a new Heart Disease Centre and a Health Informatics Centre in order to expand the hospital’s healthcare delivery to the people.

The CMD, who made this known while addressing a press conference during a pre-40th anniversary celebration of the hospital on Monday, assured that the foundation laying for the two projects would be performed during the grand finale of the anniversary.

Professor Ahidjo, who said that the hospital was first established as a specialist hospital before it was converted to a teaching hospital in 1983, explained that the 40th anniversary celebration started on Friday with prayers in the hospital’s Mosque and on Sunday in the hospital’s chapel.

While stating that the hospital was purposely meant to provide medical services, train health personnel, and conduct research, the CMD noted that the ICT centre is going to be mainly for health-related matters, unlike conventional ICT centres.

Professor Ahmed Ahidjo pointed out that the hospital, which is situated in the Northeastern part of the country, has never closed its doors to patients for quality health care delivery despite all the challenges of decades of insurgency activities.

He said that the services of the teaching hospital have not been limited to the people of Borno State; other states of Nigeria and even neighbouring countries such as Niger, Cameroon, and Chad have been accessing them.

He said since inception, the hospital has been running schools, which include the school of Nursing, the school of Biomedical engineering, and the school of Health Information Management, among others.

Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, who also holds the traditional title of Zanna Mburshema of Borno, said that the idea of celebrating the 40th anniversary was the brainchild of the board of Management of the hospital before they were dissolved by the federal government.

He further explained that following the unanimous adoption of their suggestions by the management of the hospital, modalities were put in place to ensure the success of the 40th anniversary celebration.

While commending them for the idea, Professor Ahmed Ahidjo said there will also be a medical outreach to be carried out in some selected wards for those who cannot afford medical expenses to benefit.

According to Professor Ahidjo, the services to be provided during the medical outreach include free clinical services and medication, among others, as well as surgical services, which will come in the second phase of the medical outreach.

“So, the doors of the hospital are opened today for patients to be screened. “When they are properly screened, such operations will be done on them free of charge”, he said.

He called on the prospective beneficiaries to come out and conduct themselves in an orderly manner.

The CMD said that the Local Organising Committee (LOC), chaired by Prof. Shehu Liberty, is working tirelessly to ensure the success of the anniversary.

He further said career guidance and counselling sessions will be held in selected secondary schools to be conducted by the hospital’s medical personnel.

Also, a lecture focusing on the hospital’s advanced services will be delivered by the first Indigenous CMD of the hospital, Professor Idris Mohammed, an interventional radiology expert, and former Nigerian labour leader, Ayuba Waba.

Professor Ahmed Ahidjo, who stated that the main ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 23, is expected to have Vice President Kashim Shettima in attendance as the special guest of honour and Borno state Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, as the chief host, while the Shehu of Borno is expected to be at the occasion as the Royal Father of the day.

He added that legacy projects such as a 150-bed Child Centre (Child Institute), the largest in Nigeria, a Histopathology Extension, a Radio Extension, and a new 160-capacity student hostel are going to be commissioned.

Professor Ahidjo, who said that “the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) has increased from a 630-bed capacity in 2018 to the present 1,200 beds, boasted that the hospital is the largest teaching hospital in the country.”

He said that the impact of the hospital’s services on the community is vast and hard to measure, adding that, out of the number of Tertiary health Institutions in the North East, almost all the heads of such Institutions are products of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, except one.

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