In our dear country Nigeria, the responsibility of providing health care to local communities is shouldered upon Local Governments through primary health cares. State Governments are responsible for managing any facility under secondary health care, while Federal Government on the other hand is responsible for handling Tertiary Health Care Institutions, which include University Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centers (FMCs). It is worthy of note that the States do have University Teaching Hospitals too.

Contemporarily, there are 22 Federal Medical Centers in Nigeria located in different states of the federation. In operationalizing the policy of providing health care services to Nigerian citizens, the Federal Government decided to established one tertiary health institution in each state in which FMCs were established in states that do not have a University teaching hospital. However, there is an exception in the case of Lagos State, which has both a University Teaching Hospital and an FMC, this is not unconnected to the population density of Lagos State and the commercial activities that attract large number of people to the state.

Kaduna is the third most populous state in Nigeria with more than 5 million people as of 2006. Rigasa is a political ward under Igabi Local Government Area of the state and has one of the fastest growing population, with approximately 3 million people according to Wikipedia.

People living in Rigasa commonly faced limited access to good health care, having just two primary health care centers and one general hospital which are not enough to cater for the health need of the populace. There are quite numbers of private hospitals, which support the provision of health care to the people of the community, but could only be patronized by the well to do members of the society.

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With regards to the limited accessibility of quality health services by the people of Rigasa, the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Mallam Uba Sani, sponsored a bill for an Act to establish Federal Medical Center Rigasa, which according to him will bring the much needed relief to inhabitants of the hugely populated area, who for long had to travel long distances in search of medical attention. This is a commendable effort by Senator Uba Sani and history will never forget his kind gesture towards the people of Igabi Local government and Kaduna State at large. In 2019, Senator Uba Sani raised motion with regards to measles outbreak in Wusar village, which is under Gwaraji ward of Igabi Local Government; the Senate directed the Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and National Primary Health Care Development Agency to take measures that would address the outbreak, and also directed the NCDC to create an office in the local government as a matter of urgency.

The bill for an Act to establish Federal Medical Center Rigasa passed it first reading on 19th of November, 2019. And subsequently, passed it second reading on 17th of December, 2019. The bill passed it third reading on 3rd of December, 2020 and is currently awaiting assent by President Muhammadu Buhari, which will pave way to commencement of work.

The boon of establishing FMC Rigasa can not be overemphasized as it will stich the gap of accessibility of quality health care services by the people of the community, and the state at large . It will also provide easy access to more sophisticated health care services by making available technologically-advanced machines and equipments for the diagnosis and treatment of different diseases; it will also provide intensive man power in taking care of patients and operationalizing the sophisticated health care services.

Socioeconomically, establishment of FMC Rigasa will undoubtedly boost the macro and micro economy of the state by reducing the rate of unemployment among the graduates, and promote business activities of SMEs and increase revenue generation by the state government. The huge economic impact of the Rigasa Train Station on the inhabitants of Rigasa and Kaduna State at large is obvious to all, this impact will surely duplicate itself beyond expectation when the FMC is established.

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It has been a well-known fact that Rigasa inhabitants are die hard supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari, and they have never compromised their support this support. This is a great chance for Mr President to reciprocate the gesture and prove his appreciation to his long standing supports by assenting the bill for commencement of work.

In conclusion, all concerned individuals that can support the actualization of this dream should help in pushing this agenda till it becomes a reality. Kaduna state government under the leadership of Mallam Nasir ElRufai has actually did a lot for Rigasa, but we will not relent in soliciting for this one more favor in respect to actualizing FMC Rigasa. Zazzau Emirate, under the leadership of Amb. Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli should also help in facilitating this agenda. Finally, Federal Ministry of Health under the leadership of the Honorable minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire should kindly help in facilitating the actualization of FMC Rigasa.

Abdullahi Yusuf,
Student of Human Kinetics and Health Education Department, Bayero University Kano,
writes from Rigasa Kaduna.
Email: [email protected]

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