By Chuks Eke
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commissioned the Permanent Site of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, Nnewi, Anambra state and Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs to ensure achievement of health-for-all Nigerians by 2050.
The SDG Projects commissioned by the President were the Accident and Emergency Building, Pediatric Emergency Complex, Special Treatment Center, Specialty Clinic now and it’s Landscaping, Molecular Laboratory, Mother and Child Care Building, Radiology Building, General Out-patient Department, GOPD Building, Oxygen Plants Complex, Trauma/Surgical Center and road networks.
The President who was represented by the Minister of State for Health, Honorable Joseph EkumaNkama, also performed the Ground-breaking ceremony of the Igwe Orizu International Information and Communication Technology, ICT Center initiated in honour of the 98-year old Traditional Ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Orizu to mark his 60th year on the throne.
In his speech, Buhari observed the projects are outstanding and of high test to meet the vision of his administration to give every citizens affordable and accessible health care services, especially through National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.
According to him, his administration has given the health Sector 100 percent attention as evidenced in reasonable allocation and distribution of fund and effective implementation, and judicious use of budgeted fund through the Ministry of Health hence projects being commissioned.
Buhari said both the Budget Office and Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDG Projects have played supportive role in the actualization of projects for Anambra State and other catchment states.
He charged the Board and Management of NAUTH to ensure application of international best medical practices to meet the health needs of the citizenry.
In his keynote Address, the State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo commended the President for his visit to commission the NAUTH Projects, ,about 24 hours after upgrading the Onitsha General Hospital to Federal Medical Centre, saying that the NAUTH Projects would reverse the medical tourism.
Soludo who spoke through the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike said while infrastructures are required for the health sector, “what makes hospital is integrity or quality of service given to the people.”
He thanked the three communities of Nnewi, Oraifite and Ozubulu for providing the land for the projects and called for more partnership to improve health care services to the needy.
Contributing, the SSA (SDG,) in the Presidency, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire disclosed that the commissioning of the projects eloquently testified to the contributions of the Buhari administration towards the upliftment of the state.
She observed that NAUTH had been in a state of decline, and disrepair, leading to poor Heath services delivery, until the intervention of the Presidency and Budget Office to facilitate improvement of people’s health needs in line with SDG .
In his remarks, the Chairman of NAUTH Management Board, Ezekiel Atukonyo and the Chief Medical Director, CMD NAUTH, Prof. Anthony Ugboaja pledged the commitment of both the Board, Management and Staff of the hospital to effectively use the facilities and contribute towards making the institution a household name.
Former NAUTH CMD, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe and a Commissioner representing Anambra state in the Federal Character Commission, Hon. Uche Ukadike Ibeabuchi, lauded the efforts of the incumbent NAUTH CMD, Ugboaja for his efforts so far in the execution of the land mark project to its logical conclusion within his short tenure in office.