34 students who are indigenes of Katsina State will be offered academic scholarships to study medicine at some recognized universities in the country, and overseas.
This was disclosed yesterday by Governor Dikko Umaru Radda, who also unveiled the Katsina State Government’s plan to roll out a health initiative tagged ‘Future Doctor Program’.
Radda spoke while hosting a team of international development partners, led by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who paid him an advocacy visit.
A statement by Ibrahim Kaula Mohammed, the spokesperson to Governor Radda, said that the program is aimed at producing qualified Katsina-born doctors, who would be deployed to the 34 local government areas of the State.
According to Mal. Dikko Radda, the doctor training program which is part of his administration’s strategic policy agenda on health, would make provision for the sponsorship of at least one person from the 34 Katsina LGs to study medicine at recognized Nigerian and foreign universities.
Radda said that he will soon issue a directive for Katsina medical personnel of various categories to be reposted to health facilities where their services are needed most.
“I have already directed the State Ministry of Health to conduct a staff audit to identify the capacity and area of specialisation of the entire medical staff in the State.
“Meanwhile, we are also planning to conduct a recruitment exercise for medical personnel. And for this exercise, more priority shall be given to applicants from local communities, who are qualified.
“This is because we want to address the problem of manpower, across Katsina rural health facilities,” he said.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Shuaib, appreciated the visionary steps taken by Governor Radda, particularly in partnering with an institute in the United Kingdom, to establish a Centre of Excellence dedicated to combating infectious diseases in Katsina.
He lamented that Katsina State is having only 15 doctors against the requirement of 296 to man its PHCs, with 3,520 nurses.
According to him, something must be done for the State to bridge the gap of meeting its Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, target of achieving universal health coverage in Katsina.
On his part, the Country Director of the World Health Organization, WHO, Dr. Walter Kazadi Molumbo, appreciated the Katsina Government for establishing a Contributory Health Care Management Agency that enrolled over 400,000 beneficiaries, saying that the initiative will allow more people to have access to better medical services.
He then pleaded with Governor Radda to help provide an enabling environment for development partners and other stakeholders to help the State achieve its healthcare provision goals.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Katsina Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Shamsuddeen Yahya, thanked the development partners for their various interventions in the State’s healthcare sub-sector.
Ibrahim Kaula Mohammed,
CPS to Katsina Governor.
August 18th, 2023.