Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, the federal lawmaker representing Kogi Central Senatorial District has called on the Federal Government to build more primary healthcare centers in rural areas to control infant and child mortality rates in the country.
She made the call during an interactive session by the Senate Committee on Health with the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Pate, in Abuja on Monday.
Senator Natasha said women in rural areas tend to procreate more and are more vulnerable, adding that it will be good to establish specialized facilities that will cater for maternal child care in rural areas across the country.
The cerebral lawyer bemoaned the shortage of medical doctors in the country and urged the federal government to deploy the use of innovative telehealth and telemedicine to curb the gap.
She lamented the rate at which pharmaceutical industries are leaving the country and urged the federal government to consider the use of natural medicine.
“We are aware that two weeks ago, two pharmaceutical giants left the country. With inflation and other challenges, we have a crisis when it comes to sourcing foreign medicine.
“I have a solution which is born out of personal experience. Early last year while I was in the State, there was a wave that made news surrounding capsulated bitter leaf, it was all about the cleansing benefits and the enzymes it contains. I was at home thinking if this is the same bitter leaf we have all around Nigeria.
“It brings me to the idea of localizing our own medicine so that we can take care of our own local challenges at a reduced and more efficient cost. The solution to that is to establish specialized research centers and tech hubs all across the country,” she said.
She further stated that tech hubs in Nigeria are concentrating on ICT alone, adding that there is a need to have specially built laboratories that focus on significant research that would harness ideas and create world trademark goods that could be utilized in the healthcare sector.