30 years after: PAN holds 51st conference in Kano
By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
The 51st conference of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) has kicked off in Kano after the state hosted it about 30 years ago.
The opening ceremony of the conference was performed at the Afficent Event Center along Magajin Rumfa Road on Wednesday in metropolitan Kano.
The conference featured induction of new members of the association and participation of distinguished personalities and bodies to include the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji; the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, represented by Alhaji Bello Abubakar, Sarkin Dawaki Maituta and representatives of Federal Ministry of Health; United Nation International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) among others.
In a message, Governor Ganduje said he wanted to grace the occasion personally in view of its significance as it gathered experts on children health and that his administration has committed so much resources in boosting the health sector in the state, but he was attending to other people who were trooping in to Government House to felicitate with him over his recent victory at the Supreme Court.
But the presence of the SSG added glamour to the event as he was able to deliver the message of the governor diligently.
The governor, who wished the participants good health and fruitful deliberation, restated that his administration has achieved tremendously in the area of health sector.
He said already the two giant hospitals inherited by his administration named after President Muhammadu Buhari and Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu at Giginyu Quarters and Zoo Road respectively and which he inherited at a very low percentage, were completed by him.
Ganduje told the gathering that President Buhari himself commissioned the projects during one of his visits to the state, during which the President asked all other governors to emulate the initiative, he added.
He said the state government had established other regulatory agencies to ensure that hospitals in the state operate in highest professionalism, saying that already a contract has been awarded for the construction of 400-bed-capacity hospital in each of the newly created four Emirates in the state in order to make rural dwellers not coming to the city for treatment.
The governor said recently, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had laid the foundation stone of a cancer center hoped to be the best not only in the state or the nation, but Africa as a whole.
He intimated them that the state, in its policy, had earmarked five per cent of health trust fund for child health, adding that the administration had taken giant strides in making sure that healthcare is given the priority it deserves, hinting that over 15 per cent was allocated to health sector in this year’s budget in the state, which he explained is more than the bench mark of the World Health Organisation.
He urged them to go round the state to see the progress recorded within the last four years, hoping that the end result of the conference would be of immense benefit to the nation.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Prof. Yahuza Bello who doubles as the Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic of the university, Prof. Adamu Idris Tanko, noted that the state had hosted the event for over 30 years ago.
The Vice Chancellor said for the state to host it again, it was a rare privilege, saying that the conference was therefore like opening a new chapter, reiterating that if children of a nation are unhealthy, the whole of that nation is equally unhealthy, saying that all hands must be on deck to move the sector forward.
He decried the number of doctors to patients, which he noted was very low.
Prof. Bello commiserated with the management and staff of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital over the loss the hospital suffered recently of two of its staff, praying for the repose of their souls, promising all support to the doctors, wishing them successful deliberations, hoping that the conferenc’s outcome would be beneficial to mankind.
In his address, the president of the association, Prof. Augustine I. Omoigberale, said the theme of the conference: ‘The Impact of Rapid Population Growth on the Child’ with its sub-themes as ‘Childhood Nutrition: Role of the Healthcare providers and policy makers,’ ‘Critical Care for the Sick Child: Bridging the gaps’ and ‘Addressing the Challenges of Childhood Immunisations’ have accurately applied to the current situation in the country where perinatal morbidity and mortality rates are abysmally high, he stressed.
“This conference will afford all of us to look inwards, strategise and produce rational and implementable solutions to some of our problems.
“There were six pre-conference workshops during this conference. These workshops started on Sunday, January 19, 2020 and were completed on Monday, January 20, 2020.
“All the pre-conference workshops were well subscribed and attended. There are a lot of scientific sessions during the conference that may demand extensive brain storming,” he stated.
He urged the participants to ensure that they attend almost all the sessions and get engaged.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the event, Prof. Musa Ibrahim, described the theme of the conference as apt, saying that the nation’s current population was estimated at about 203 million, saying however that roughly, half of it is in extreme poverty.
“Poverty deprives access to basic needs – such as healthcare, food, and so on,” said he.
He however expressed optimism that with the condition of the nation, being polio-free, very soon it would receive the WHO’s certification to that effect.
A renowned Bunza children’s doctor from Birnin Kebbi in Kebbi State, Prof. Hamidu Ahmed was the key note speaker at the event, while Dr. Kabir A. Masokano was mandated to read a citation on the 1950 born paediatrician.
It was deduced from the citation that Prof. Ahmed speaks three languages of the world fluently, namely; Hausa, English and Russian and made valid contributions to the affairs of health development of global children in different capacities.
He wrote many books and has many publications in world’s journals in the area of health of children.
The conference was spiced with cultural dances the state is known for; while the participants are expect to visit places of interest to them in the city today.