By Salahuddin Yakubu Gwani
Medical institutions across different regions of developing nations, no doubt play a major role in the social and economic vitalities of communities, particularly underserved rural villages with little or no access to healthcare. These medical institutions (often referred to as clinics or hospitals to the locals) are very important for the vulnerable poor in addressing alarming health issues that are increasingly affected their wellbeing.
Increasing hospital structures and other health care facilities are key ingredients in pursuing health interventions that help minimize downstream costs, especially for the hoi-polloi. Responsive and responsible leaders make or attract meaningful investment in the health care sector, such that major push to make healthcare available for low-income individuals and groups become their major priority.
Such kinds of strides, apart from lawmaking are the watchwords of the member representing Katagum Federal Constituency, Hon Umar Abdulkadir Sarki. Recently, he brought an intervention to his constituency which records a giant push in infrastructural development to his constituents—the hospital that is undergoing construction is the reference point here.
This is without a doubt the first of its kind in the Katagum zone entirely, which is only second to a pioneering one which is situated in Tafawa Balewa, brought by a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
This modern health facility is no doubt a gigantic project initiated by Hon Sarki in order to assist striving patients to easily reach and access active healthcare facilities at considerably low cost.
With the exemption of the private health facilities available in katagum ( Azare in particular), community health centers lack the capacity to contain or effectively serve the larger population a quality health insurance, as private hospitals serve as insurance last resort; caring for uninsured patients who can’t afford to pay their medical bills. Due to these high charges, many are not able to generate long-term savings through population health and community development strategies as the cost of living in the country is always inflating.
Meanwhile, such non-profit hospitals which Hon Sarki equips the katagum locality with aims to address socioeconomic issues in the communities they serve. They help residents to afford health insurance, reduce cost due to preventable and chronic conditions and at the same time support their work force needs.
Building community health improves the ability of the local residents to pay for hospital bills. Further attending to social determinants of health prevents or significantly reduces the high rate of mortality due to an outbreak of diseases and management of other chronic health conditions such as cancer, hypertension, and diabetes which disproportionately affects low-income individuals.
Increasing hospitals are roadmaps on the growing evidence based on the suggestions that such intervention improves the community members’ physical and mental health. Since the return of democracy in 1999, no such intervention has ever been brought by a Rep member in katagum constituency. This experimental development innovated by Hon Umar Abdulkadir Sarki in Katagum constituency will forever glow and serve as a vital landscape in the history of katagum politics.
The reconceptualization of this healthcare to include social determinants of health is critical to Katagum’s public and economic development alike. And for this, Hon Sarki deserves accolades of gratitude by the good people of Katagum. Nonetheless, government institutions, NGOs, and other entities must collaborate to address the multifaceted social drivers of the health disparities in our localities
Written by Comrade Salahuddin Yakubu Gwani