By Emmanuel Kehinde, ilorin
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state has attributed achievements of his administration in health care services in the past three years to contribution of the workforce in the state.
Governor Abdulrazaq in a statement on fight against COVID-19 pandemic so far in the state, commended professional health care personnel and appointees on health matters for coming up with ideas, which he said had helped in revamping healthcare infrastructures in the state.
The governor, who described the immediate past Special Adviser on Health Matters to the Governor, Professor Wale Sulaiman, and his league of experts, as thoroughbred professionals, said that achievements within a year in service are well recognized by all and sundry.
“Within the span of one year of his dedicated service to the state, Professor Sulaiman utilized his expertise in helping to revamp moribund healthcare infrastructures across Kwara state.
“As a medical expert, he envisioned and implemented programmes for affordable, innovative and qualitative healthcare services delivery for the benefit of the good people of Kwara state.
“A landmark achievement of Kwara State Health Sector under the advice and supervision of Professor Sulaiman is the rehabilitation of the moribund Sobi Specialist Hospital.
“The government also made available about 10 new ambulances spread across the state for effective service delivery.
“In addition, Professor Sulaiman and his league of experts facilitated the first Intensive Surgical Intervention programme where over 500 local patients in Kwara State benefited.
“He also proposed a strategic Healthcare Master Plan for the Kwara state government hoped to transform the state healthcare sector for good.
“As the Secretary and later Vice Chairman of the Kwara COVID-19 Committee, he collaborated with the team in developing workable strategies towards curbing the spread of the virus in the state, some of which include but not limited to the restoration of Oxygen plant at the Sobi Specialist Hospital, Alagbado.
“It is common knowledge that a huge number of COVID-19 deaths was traced to lack of access to adequate ventilation at the initial stage.
“The restoration of the Oxygen Plant helped to save many lives in Kwara state and beyond. The contribution and efforts of Professor Wale Sulaiman during his tenure as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, helped to save countless numbers of Kwarans from the COVID-19 virus, thus helping to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Consequently, Kwara state was ranked third in the fight against COVID-9 pandemic in the federation. Also, in the course of his one-year service as Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Professor Sulaiman submitted to the state government, a memo on healthcare plan which provided a clear description on steps to be taken in order to improve access to safe and quality healthcare at all levels of medical services in Kwara state.
Under the counsel of Professor Sulaiman, plans were put in place by the State Government to transform Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Center (HADC) into a medical tourism hub with the aim to enable it provide excellent medical care and services for even more people than it was doing at the time.
In his capacity as Kwara State Diaspora Focal Person (NIDCOM), he ensured that Kwarans in Diaspora were in solidarity with the state government in the fight against Covid-19.
Through this avenue, Kwara State Association of Nigeria in North America donated a significant number of hand sanitizing machines to the government.
It was under his watch as the Kwarans in Diaspora Focal Person that the Kwarans in diaspora associations and organizations harmonised into one united organisation known as Kwarans in Diaspora (KID).
Also worthy of note is the fact that, towards the tail end of his time in office as the Special Adviser on Health Matters to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, measures were set in motion for the establishment of Kwara Health Insurance Scheme.
Prof. Wale Sulaiman achieved so many feats in his short time as the Special Adviser on Health Matters, so much so that many people argued that he spent more than a year in office.
One can only imagine what Kwara healthcare services would have become if he had stayed in office a little longer, and even though he now work in the private capacity, Professor Sulaiman has not relented in the slightest bit in his commitments to the improvement of healthcare services in Kwara State.
“This is hardly surprising considering the fact that he has always shown keen interest in the welfare of the people even before his appointment as the Special Adviser to the Governor.
“On several occasions Governor Abdulrazaq had commended the efforts of Professor Sulaiman towards coming up with ideas that could help in revamping healthcare infrastructures in the state.
In his opening remarks at the Kwarans in Diaspora (KID) Virtual meeting held on July 3, 2020, Governor Abdulrahman stated that: “The huge challenges are in the healthcare sector, education and infrastructure. Like I said, we are lucky to have Dr. Wale on our side.
“The important thing is about drawing up a policy, once you have a policy in place, it is a road map to invest in. One of the first tasks Dr. Wale was given was the Oxygen Plant which had not worked for close to 10 years and immediately he came in with the right investment the oxygen plant is working. People are coming even outside Kwara State to get Oxygen from there and we revamped completely dead hospital back into the state of the art hospital – The Sobi Specialist Hospital is now what you can call a specialist hospital”.