Another Health Sector Giant First In Abia State
ALL is now set for the Abia State government to score another first as usual with the commissioning of the First Dialysis Centre in South East zone of the country.
The centre which is at the Abia Specialist and Diagnostic Centre Umuahia came into being following the acquisition of the defunct Alaoma Hospital on Aba road through private-public partnership.
It was constructed by international health and specialist group, MECURE of India. Not many believed that the project will come to fruition so soon considering the bitter experiences of private-public partnership projects which in some cases are crisis-ridden, leading to their termination or complete abandonment.
But the Abia Dialysis Centre was different because of the commitment, sincerity and trans-parency on the part of the parties involved, the state government and Mecure International.
The centre, part of the numerous completed and ongoing projects embarked upon by the present government, has been described as a revolution of the health sector, a sector that has been neglected for years, forcing indigenes or residents to seek medicare outside the state.
Announcing the planned commission of the centre recently, after inspecting the equipment installed there, the state governor, Theodore Orji, happily said that all the facilities needed for the take-off of the centre are ready, adding that government is waiting for the technical partners from India who will man the machines.
The state government has also concluded plans on how indigenous health professionals will be trained to work there. With the take-off of the centre, it is obvious that the centre will bring succour to many people suffering from renal problem as they do not need to travel far or outside the country or spend so much money on dialysis, pending when their renal problem will be tackled.
Another good thing about the centre is that majority of doctors and nurses who will be in-charge are Nigerians to be trained for that purpose. There are also enough machines for dialysis to meet the need of patients, unlike the case in several public hospitals. No wonder the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN recently approved the centre for medical studentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ internship.
Since 2007, the Chief Orji-led government has recorded giant strides in the area of health care delivery in Abia State. So far, the government has equipped and upgraded one hospital in each of the three senatorial zones of the state into a referral hospital for specialist treatment and diagnosis.
It has also undertaken a massive re-equipping and modernisation of the Amachara General Hospital as the pilot hospital for Abia Central Senatorial Zone and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba to serve the people of Abia South Senatorial zone, while the Umunnato General Hospital is to serve as the Specialist Hospital for the Abia North Senatorial Zone.
In the rural areas, the state government is complementing the Federal Government to ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by building and equipping 250 health centres in various villages in the state. The government has distributed ambulances to 10 local government areas in Abia State to aid in conveying pregnant rural women to the nearest hospital to guarantee safe delivery.
The aim of the government is to ensure that every political ward in the state has a health centre to attend to patients. The government also employed health professionals to manage the hospitals.
As parts of its effort to provide qualitative healthcare to the people, it has embarked on the construction of an auditorium at the specialist hospital Abayi, Aba for student doctors.
The government has continued to meet its counterpart obligation to partner agencies such as WHO, UNICEF and has continued to support the Ministry of Health in its campaigns and other activities aimed at keeping Abia state polio free. In addition, it has also undertaken massive refurbishing and expansion works at the School of Health Technology, Aba, the School of Nursing, Umuahia and the Uzuakoli Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre.
With the completion of Centre, the present government in the state has set another pace in the health care delivery in the country. A rare feat other state governments might soon aspire to achieve, because the Dialysis Centre on taking off might witness beehive of activities especially from patients from southeast zone.
ROMANUS UWA, a medical doctor, wrote from Aba, Abia State.