Believing and History...T.A. Orji
As earlier on acknowledged, using credible platforms of this magnitude, the demise of our political constraints authored by god-playing gladiators of yester-years opened our eyes to the frightening enormity of infrastructural laybacks prevalent in the State. We doggedly soldiered on and anchored our implicit confidence on the virility of great things starting in small beginnings. In the proverbial twinkle of an eye, seeming impossibilities and intractable situations began to evaporate for us to behold and celebrate new vistas scarcely believed were going to be instituted in the State.
I have quietly thought hard about this, and the more I do, the more my submission rests on the vitality and inevitability of subscribing to the concept captured above.
The much-expected will to devotedly believe in the workability of the State, facilitated the emergence of a way. This exhilarating paradigm shift, was critically needed to drive home the truth and sincerity of purpose which largely influenced our acceptance of the stewardship to govern. Especially in the face of torrents of well-placed and in most cases un-substantiated allegations which, increased in momentum during the atrocious days of belligerents, who thrived in the illicit business of kidnapping.
Today's vital stocktaking designed to torchlight the health delivery mileage in Abia State has increased my non-negotiable devotion to the potency of believing.
The health delivery miracle in Abia State is therefore vividly captured in the flashback of a humble beginning, accommodated in the belief that we can locate at least a health centre in each of the wards in Abia State. We animated this belief, beyond wishful thinking by quickly accepting the hand of fellowship offered by the Millennium Development Goals, MDG. The resultant and cascading air of freshness, which ruled the political, landscape of the State, landed Abia in the league of eventful States.
With an initial count of 65 health centres, the latter triumphantly surpassed the former and netted 250 functioning health centres dotting every geo-political enclave of the State. Institution of primary health centres in Abia State began to stimulate access to basic health facilities, which hitherto seemed utopian and also tore through the identity crisis plaguing the State.
The reality of Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, attained in association with Me-Cure Health Services of India, is a gigantic reward in the application of believing and it has made Abia a destination of note in medical tourism.
The fitting syntax to exhaustively promote the goodness in believing is obviously lacking. But suffice it to say that the difficulties of jumping mountainous hurdles to land the medical milestone currently reigning in Abia, east of the Niger is worth flaunting.
It can only get better, given the recent commissioning of a dialysis centre and the on-going ophthalmology centre, which is waiting in the wings to be unveiled before the expiration of three months' time.
It is only a healthy Abia that will consummate infrastructural necessities. We have therefore continually tapped from the fountain of believing to diversify our insatiable hunger for more medical breakthroughs.
Over 18 brand new vehicles have been distributed to our primary health centres to facilitate health care delivery. Okikpe General Hospital in Ukwa East of Abia South, Arochukwu General Hospital in Abia North, and Amachara General Hospital in Abia Central, are each being upgraded to 100-bed hospitals. Like they say, “success has many friends, but failure is an orphan”. The trails so far blazed in the health care sector, equipped and elevated our curriculum vitae to secure accreditation from the Medical Examination Board for training of House Officers. A functional Chest Clinic installed in liaison with Agbami partners of Chevron oil field at the State Specialist Hospital, has added to the measures designed to intervene in varied health situations.
Life has been injected into the fast fading School of Health Technology Aba, just as we have always gone the whole hug to secure the continuous accreditation of Abia State University Medical College and Teaching Hospital by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
The administration of Health Insurance Scheme, currently undergoing perfection of grey areas, could not have come at a better time. This intervention will provide the necessary soft landing for Abians requiring treatment in various health situations. It will also drive home the truth that our government is not insensitive to the huge monetary demands on certain health situations and is therefore poised to cushion the financial effect.
Extension of MTN Yellow doctors programme in synergy with Abia State Government has been warmly received, just as a result-oriented partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, for training and re-training of midwives is being initiated.
Abia State Government and four United Nations health agencies have pledged to deepen their areas of partnership in the promotion of maternal and child health, exclusive breast feeding, safe pregnancy delivery and optimal care for the new-born baby.
The motivational pledge of government is not only driving the on-going construction of doctors quarters at Amachara annex of the Specialist Hospital, but had earlier featured in the faithful implementation of every payment regime, ranging from Consolidated Medical Salary Scale, CONMESS, to Consolidated Health Salary Scale, CONHESS. It is a confidence-building measure, stimulated by our government for emergence of the necessary platforms for optimum performance of health workers in the State.
Our steel-hearted dedication to lift the State from the ashes of despondency is rooted in our understanding of the miracles that will take place in the State, if we believe.
Rather than retreat in defeat, and deceitfully begin to provide infrastructures on billboards and television, the obvious financial gridlock prevalent in the State, compelled our mandate to re-strategise. To that effect, we had always risen from the drawing board of dexterity and prudent management to establish one undisputable legacy or the other. For emphasis sake, our pathetic monthly federation allocation is infinitesimally inadequate to rescue Abia from the depth and sorry past of infrastructural neglect, which has been her lot, since creation.
This has seen us triumphantly leveraged on obvious constraints to attain varied infrastructural milestones scarcely believed will take place in Abia State.
Before Abians will blink, we will roll the drums again to inaugurate the imposing State High Court Complex in Umuahia and Aba, the wonderful State Secretariat, and the expansive, modern and well-laid Umuahia Market comfortably situated at Ubani.
We will believe more to make more history.
T. A. Orji is the Governor of Abia State.