The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has approved Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre for medical internship training, a development, which Governor Theodore Orji has applauded.
The governor stated that the development is a big boost to his administration’s quest to bring health to the door steps of every Abian.
Orji explained that the internship accreditation team from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria that visited Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre in February 2013 were impressed with what they saw, hence the council’s approval for the hospital to be accredited for medical internship training of sixteen house officers.
The state government recently took delivery of a state-of-the-art machine for the newly completed dialysis centre in Umuahia, buttressing Governor Theodore Orji’s commitment to take the health sector to an enviable height.
Consequently, the establishment of world-class diagnostic centres in Umuahia and Aba, and the completion of the dialysis centre, is the manifestation of the desire of Governor Orji’s administration to ensure a healthy state with healthy citizens.
Health, they say, is wealth. That is why Governor Orji has made it a priority for his administration, believing that one has to be alive to enjoy the benefits of democracy. The administration is, therefore, committing huge resources in the sector to ensure that the health of its citizens is adequately taken care of.
To ensure that it realises its plans in this sector, the state government, through the Abia State Planning Commission, is working with the office of the presidency to set up health centres in all the electoral wards in the state. This is to bring medical services closer to the people. The administration has so far built 250 health centres across the state. Many others are at various stages of completion.
It is the wish of the government to increase the number of health centres that are on ground by partnering with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other foreign donor agencies.
According to his Excellency, “We want every ward to have a health centre to make health care available to all. The government is putting up a new structure at the diagnostic centre, Umuahia, to house the dialysis centre. When that building is completed, we are going to install a dialysis machine to help our people with renal problems. They would no longer have to go to the teaching hospitals in Enugu, Lagos or Zaria for dialysis. We are also putting up a new structure at Amachara General Hospital to take care of children. It is going to be a specialist children’s centre”.
The governor went on: “We are also erecting a massive hall at the Abia State Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba, to provide accommodation that would train more medical personnel. So, our programme is in progress because we have always taken health as very important. This is because you have to be healthy to know what dividend of democracy is and we want to preside over healthy people”.
Meanwhile, the state government and four United Nations Health agencies (UNH4) have pledged to deepen their areas of partnership in their commitment to further reduce maternal and infant mortality rate, promote exclusive breastfeeding, safe pregnancy delivery and optimal care for the new born baby in the state. The recent commitment would further reduce maternal and infant mortality rate, promote maternal healthcare, exclusive breastfeeding, safe pregnancy delivery and optimal care for new born babies in Abia State.
UNH4 team, comprising UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO and World Bank, at a recent visit to the state, pledged to sustain its relationship with the Abia State government to facilitate optimal healthcare delivery for women and children. It is a well-known fact that Governor Orji accords healthcare delivery a top priority.
The construction of 250 new primary healthcare centres across the 17 local government areas of Abia State and the establishment of the state primary healthcare development agency are in line with the National Healthcare Policy, geared towards making healthcare available to people, especially those at the hinterlands.
The executive support and personal involvement in all rounds of immunisation and de-worming of school children, war against measles, sensitisation on cancer, hypertension and diabetes, exclusive breastfeeding and attracting medical teams for free medicare services to the people, are all geared towards ensuring not only a sound health system for women and children, but for the entire populace.
Apart from the state government’s programme against maternal and infant mortality, the administration seeks out well-meaning non-governmental bodies to take healthcare delivery to the people. The office of the governor’s wife is equally supporting people living with HIV/AIDS as well as empowering the less-privileged and indigent women in line with the UNH4 objective of ensuring optimal health for women and children.
Meanwhile, about 12,603 HIV/AIDS patients in the state are to receive government minimal support services as part of commitment towards reducing the rate of infection and eradication of the virus in the state. Also pregnant women in Abia State are to access the services of prevention of mother-to-child transmission by going to the nearest centres for counseling, testing and treatment in order to deliver HIV-negative babies, and free the next generation from the virus.
Governor Orji has shown appreciation to the result achieved between the administration and UNICEF, and had noted that the joint intervention helped to check the imminent outbreak of cholera in Bende Local Government Area. According to him, the joint intervention yielded positive result and there has been no known repeat of such disease in that area or in any other location.
•Emezue is the chief press secretary to Abia State governor.