The efforts of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi in fighting the novel coronavirus and other deadly infectious diseases received a great boost on Saturday as Anambra Progressives, a group of passionate and committed prominent citizens convened by the Senator representing Anambra South senatorial zone, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah handed over a new ultramodern medical and isolation center which was totally sponsored by the group to the institution.
Speaking at the event which took place at the Permanent Site of the health institution located at Nnewi-Oraifite, the Progressives’ Grand Patron, Chief Dr. Cletus Ibeto, CON, revealed that the group embarked on the project about four months ago as the novel coronavirus brought almost every activity around the world to a standstill.
Chief Ibeto who further thanked the group members for their commitments maintained that the center will not only be a great support to the Teaching Hospital in the fight against Covid-19 but will also be a boost to the hospital and the state in general in their fight against other deadly infectious diseases.
The Ibeto Group boss also commended Senator Ubah for convening the group and urged him to keep doing good for the people.
Also speaking, the group convener, Senator Ubah thanked its members for their uncommon supports and cooperation that ensured that the project was successfully and timely completed. The Senator further revealed that the center is one of the three health projects championed by the group.
According to him, two other ultramodern medical and isolation centers located at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK) and Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe were approved and were being sponsored by the Progressives. However, he said that while the one in UNIZIK is near completion and will be commissioned and handed over to the University in few weeks, the construction of the one in Nsugbe which is located within a state-owned institution was brought to a halt due to non-cooperation of the state government.
He further urged the state to emulate the federal government by giving required cooperation to the group in order not to deny the citizens of Anambra North Senatorial District opportunity to have such precious edifice. Senator Ubah also revealed that the group will soon embark on other economic projects and urged every well-meaning citizen to join and support them. The Senator also maintained that the group remains apolitical as members include business moguls, prominent citizens and politicians from various political parties.
In his own reaction, the Nigerian Senate President, Ahmed Lawan thanked the group and its convener, Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah for finding it wise to sponsor such a landmark project. Senator Lawan who was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe further assured the group, the hospital management and general public that the national assembly will deploy every legislative instrument to ensure that the center is fully functional.
According to him, by 2021, the center will be funded from national budget. He however, called on Anambra State Government led by Chief Willie Obiano to support the new medical and isolation center with good road network.
In his own speech, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire commended the group for coming to the aide of the Nigerian health sector. Represented by the Chief Medical Director of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Dr. Obinna Onodugo, the Nigerian Health Minister maintained that the center will remain a landmark achievement for the group, the hospital and Nigeria in general because the health sector can only be developed through Public-Private Partnership.
He further maintained that the Federal Government cannot develop the health center alone and expressed appreciation for the support from private individuals that championed the project execution and completion.
In his remarks, the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekwazu said that NCDC has done a lot in prevention and management of pandemics and other disease outbreaks in the country. The NCDC boss who was represented by Dr. Everistus Aniakor further assured the hospital and its management that the center will always put in technical support whenever it is being called upon.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Board of Management, Chief Ezekiel Afukonyo commended the group for playing a very important role in promoting good health in the society. The Board Chairman further expressed joy on the mutual cooperation exhibited by the Progressives and urged them to keep on keeping on.
Speaking on behalf of Royal fathers present, the Traditional Ruler of Nnewi, His Royal Highness, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III described the Progressives’ Grand Patton, Chief Ibeto and the group’s convener, Senator Ubah as illustrious sons of Nnewi and prayed God to keep protecting and blessing them. He also thanked the group for their efforts and assured them that Heaven will never forget them.
Meanwhile, the Anambra Progressives’ Grand Patron, Chief Cletus Ibeto called on NAUTH management to tell the general public when the new medical and isolation center will become fully operational. While responding, the management announced that it will become fully operational in two weeks’ time.
Facilities at the center include ultramodern intensive care units, fully equipped general and private Wards and medical ambulances.
Photo: Facilities sponsored by the Anambra Progressives at NAUTH, Nnewi.
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