Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
Abia State Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, has decried the poor State of public health facilities in the State, saying they are ineffective and challenging to quality health care delivery.
She however reaveled that Governor Alex Otti, has declared state of emergency on all State owened health facilities.
Okoronkwo, who spoke in Aba, the commercial hub of the State while touring facilities in the city, said the State will renovate at least one public healthcare facility across the three senatorial zones to mark his administration’s first 100 days in office.
The Commissioner however condemned the decision by the immediate past administration in demolishing the Aba General Hospital without rebuilding it.
She revealed that the State government had intended to use the facility at the Abia multiple purpose specialist hospital as a take off point for Aba General Hospital, but lamented that the structural design was cumbersome for a General Hospital.
The Commissioner who also visited the Goverment Cottage hospital in Aba, observed that the available facility at the Cottage Hospital was below the standard of health facility, while assuring that she would report back to Governor Otti governor for possible renovation of the hospital.
She said, “The condition of the cottage hospital is bad. A state of emergency was declared by Dr Alex Otti, on health, Education and waste management, we are looking at low hanging issues, the health sector can’t wait, otherwise peoples lives will be affected.
“The governor instructed that three general hospitals within the three senatorial zones be renovated and revitalized within his first 100 days in office.
“we wanted to start with the Aba general hospital. But the structure there will have to be revalued and we can adopt the cottage hospital as the second option to be revitalized within the next 100 days in office. Because this place is very bad and not habitable.
“Nobody should come here to be seen by anyone, this is a disaster waiting to happen. We will report back to the governor to see what he will do very quickly. We will get people to start working here before the 100 days in office.
“What is important to us is to ensure that salaries are paid as at when due, while we work out plans to pay the arrears. What’s important to us is to make the hospital functional and habitable, nobody should be found consulting in this kind of environment.
“The structure housing the specialist diagnostic centre at the general is poorly done. The design approach is poorly done and the equipment are scattered all over the place and we can’t ascertain if they are working or not, it’s a challenge.
“The idea of coming here is to look at the place and know if it’s ready for use, but from what I have seen it will take a while before we can this place to use. I have to take this information to the governor and we will decide how to move forward from here.
“I haven’t seen the contract paper, but if what they have meets our priority and standard we will consider continuing the contract with them.
“Our intention was to return this structure to what it use to be, that’s the Aba general hospital, it’s the teaching hospital that should act as a reference centre and multiple purpose uses.
“The general hospital is very key to serving the under served, so it’s an important tier of the health facility structure for the state, so we cannot take the general hospital out of this place.
“The structure is a challenge, there’s a design for hospital and if you don’t fellow that design, then you will run into a very big problem.
We have to look at the design and see how we can adapt and look at the structure and see if it has not been compromised and it’s solid enough to stand as hospital.
“We have our challenge it’s moody, flooded and not properly ventilated for a general hospital, ageneral should be simplified and not have a problem to navigate it
“We can’t tell of how may machines that were brought here, because we didn’t handle the contract. We can only work with what’s on ground and look at the contract to see if the are machines that are meant to be here and they were charted away”.
A medical doctor with the State Dr Okwo Ikechi, regretted that the building had pale fittings.
According to him “I’m not actually happy with the equipment we meet at the CT scan room and the theaters, we know that with the presence of the Honorable commissioner and assistance of the state governor something we be done to make the centre functional.
“We work in the hospital here and we saw when things were brought in but there is a disparage between what we saw brought in and what we are seeing here now”.