From Chuks Collins, Awka
A principal officer of the Federal House of Representatives, Prince Chukwuka Onyema, representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency has handed over all health centres renovated and equipped in his constituency to the church, saying that it is the only way to ensure proper, effective and efficient management of the centers.
The lawmaker who spoke at the hand over of one such health centres recently to the Anglican Diocese, Ogbaru at St Luke Anglican Church, Okpoko, expressed delight in the gesture.
“It has been the case that all the establishments given to the local government system get mismanaged and goes moribund. It was the Anambra State government that initiated the practice of handing over schools and hospitals to churches and one can attest to the fact that these institutions have experienced a radical improvement since the development.
“I realized that when the state partnered with the church in schools and hospitals, they picked up.
“Normally, health centres are handed over to local governments and most times you find out that when those hospitals are handed over to the local government, the hospital facilities and vehicles end up being run down.
“So, I decided to tow the line when I attracted rehabilitation and equipping of the moribund primary health centres in my constituency. I went to the church and discussed with them and they agreed they would judiciously manage the health centres and ambulance. So, we are here to hand over the ambulance we bought and the renovated and equipped primary health centre to the church.” Onyema said.
The lawmaker also disclosed that one other primary health centre has been rehabilitated and handed over to another Anglican church inside Onitsha as well as in a Catholic church which has also been given an ambulance.
He also expressed optimism that the churches will look after the health centres without supervision from the government.
Honourable Onyema disclosed that his intent is to “attract affordable medical health for the people of Okpoko.”
Okpoko is a rural area that comprises more of middle income and low income earners. We need a health centre where the sick would not be asked to pay any fee before they can be attended to.
He said the essence of the ambulance would be dedicated to attending to emergency cases within the community.
While receiving the key to the ambulance, Rt. Revd Prosper Amah, bishop of Ogbaru Diocese said he will make available a mobile phone number that every people in Okpoko can call whenever they need the services of the ambulance.
He warned the hospital administrator not to use the ambulance for any purpose for which it is not meant.
“It should remain stand by for responding to emergency health cases,” the bishop said.
He also announced that the ambulance will not charge any patient it conveys and blessed
Dr Ejikeme Okonkwo, the Chief Medical Director of the primary health centre stated that the primary healthcare centre was in a deplorable state before the “intervention of Hon Chukwuka Onyema.”
He intimated that the centre would provide 24 hours emergency section; ultra sound scan machine; HIV clinic, maternal child healthcare.
“The people will not be happy as they would be coming to a cleaner, better equipped healthcare centre,” he said.