By Emmanuel Y. Kwache
If you are from Adamawa State and you have been following the activities of Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, you will be impressed. This is due to the diligence of the agency and how it has been able to reach the grassroots with minimal resistance. The people, the citizenry do not want change at all. Whatever change, be it political, economic, social, health – wise or education wise.
Therefore, when the campaign for poliomyelitis to be eradicated started a long time ago, some, even religious leaders, went against it, saying that the “white” man was introducing a way of reducing the black’s population. It took time to disabuse the minds of many to accept the drip.
Be that as it may, Adamawa state is a difficult terrain – mountains, rivers, valleys, forest and what a view. Besides the landmass there are eight first-class traditional rulers, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha, the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Isa Ahmadu, Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Adamu Sanda, Gangwari Ganye, Chief Honest Irmiya, The Homun Bachama, Dr. Wilfred Kimde, Kwandi Nunguraya, Chief Gladstone Teneke, The Hama Batta, The Amna Shelleng Alhaji Ma’agina, the Murum Mbula, Chief Joel Jerome Fwah.
So what the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency did was to embark on enlightenment drive through these highly revered traditional rulers. From time to time, they held talk shops right in front of their palaces with leaflets in Hausa, English and even in Fulfulde with various specialists and professionals in disease control, nutrition, community health services, lecturing, tutoring and educating the unlearned families in the various communities.
Similarly, the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency approached the religious clerics, both the Muslim Council of Nigeria (MCN) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) through their executive members and informed them on the importance and value of the poliomyelitis campaign. In addition, after the message might have been passed to the district and ward heads, the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency went viral by lecturing and doing workshops, ward by ward using focal persons in the 21 primary health care development agencies in the 21 one local government councils, through the unalloyed loyal support of the executive secretaries.
This has helped to the extent that Executive Chairman, Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Abdullahi Dauda Belel, is highly esteemed by the National Primary Health Care Development Authority in Abuja, Headquarters, under the indomitable and the indefatigable, Dr. Ado Mohammed that today, Belel is a board member of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Furthermore, such kind of vibrant campaign in enlightenment on cholera, measles, tuberculosis, and of recent Lassa fever has continued unabated on the pages of newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Dr. Belel is a friend to the press. Let us look at a hiccup that happened in the last quarter of 2015 when a certain drop which was supposed to be applied through the mouth of babies between one and five years were mistakenly taken for eye drop because it looked similar to eye drops. This caused a lot of trouble. The babies started having swollen eyes, red eyes and distorted vision.
When Belel got to know about the development, he immediately conveyed a world press conference. Within 12 hours, the news filtered out that parents and mothers should stop using that drop immediately and that all the consignments should be brought to the headquarters of the Adamawa Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Last year also, the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency hosted 42 professionals from seven states – Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina Zamfara and Jigawa states. Some, permanent secretaries, executive secretaries and directors, in charge of planning, research and statistics, community health services, disease control and immunization and other categories came to understudy the performance-based campaign, that has been successful in Adamawa State.
It was a one-week programme with working visitations to Fufore, Yola South, Yola North, Girei and Mayo Belwa Local governments that were chosen as model examples for other local governments to copy or any other organization to copy. This was centred on the performance best programme. It has nearly 100 per cent evaluation and verifications success in Adamawa.
Some of the participants were satisfied with what they saw on the ground, apart from routine immunization, edifices, availability of computers, a bus each and ambulances for the various local government areas. Some other issues and activities of the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency were adjudged excellent by the participants. They eulogized the organized protocol and discipline from the headquarters of the agency in Kofare layout, Jimeta – Yola, Adamawa State the journey to their hotel, the journey that was led by the Chief security officer of the agency and so forth.
Also, on the December 29, 2015, when I was reversing out of my residence in Anguwan Kabawa in Vinikilang area of Girei, suburb of Jimeta Yola, Adamawa state capital – I rammed into someone’s house and destroyed a room, the bedroom and smashed a bed, a television, a standing fan and many other things like bowls, carpet and household utensils. My residence is on a hilltop and the car being End of Discussion (EOD) Six Cylinder, a heavy car for that slope and the speed with which the car descended destroyed the walls of the room. The owners of the room escaped, but their two-year old was injured on the head. To cut the story short, I rushed to a nearby clinic – an outpost of the primary health care development agency in Vinikilang – Girei Local Government. After explaining what happened, the manager, one Mrs Doris Hananiya, attended to the two year child promptly. She was treated professionally by Mrs Precious Nuhu Maunde and Linda Enoch who dressed the wounds, took the temperature of the boy and gave out five different tablets, Vitamin C and Syrups.
When I asked for the bill, they told me “Oga, it is free” See! When I heard that I was delighted. In a normal pharmaceutical store, That could cost between N5,000 to N 7,000 besides the Keke Napep hired since the two glasses, front and back of my car were destroyed, the bumper destroyed, parking light destroyed and the body lacerated.
The outpost station of the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency in Vinikilang, Girei was neat with seats for outpatients well- arranged. The members of staff were in white sparkling articulate uniform.
The more of the story is that the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency is led by visionary and focused personnel who do not deviate from the norms of health care, led unarguably by their resourceful Executive Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Dauda Belel, who has been campaigning consistently on the dangers of Lassa fever and why we should do away with rats and rodents completely.
One cannot fail to mention Dr. Martin Bimba, permanent member one of the board, Alhaji Aliyu Suleiman, Secretary of the agency, Alhaji Hassan Buba Sali, Director Administration. Alhaji Mohammed Yerima, Alhaji Bala Husseini, Director of Finance, Hajiya Hauwa Musa, Director of Community Services and Frama Dauda, who are working round the clock to stamp the name of Adamawa State on the map of not only Nigeria, but Africa. This is all proven around team work.
Emmanuel Y. Kwache, a freelance journalist writes from No. 1 Abaji Road,
Sabon Hanya, Angwan Kabawa, directly
Opposite Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Yola,
Campus, Girei Local Government,
Adamawa State, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Tel: 08059116543, 08140022647