By Don Peter Okoro.
It was a day of joy and jubilation, yesterday, the 19th of May 2023 in Nnewi, Anambra State of Nigeria during the Official Commissioning of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Permanent Site/ SDG Projects and the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Igwe Orizu International ICT Centre.
It was indeed a day of fulfilment for all, especially the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Ugboaja who worked tirelessly to make sure everything fell into their rightful places. Delivering his Opening Speech, the Chairman of the NAUTH Management Board, Chief Ezekiel Irmiya Afukonyo said that he recalls their first visit to HRH Igwe KON Orizu 111, during which he passionately pleaded with the Board to make every necessary efforts to move the hospital to the permanent site and that he would be a fulfilled man if the permanent site can be opened for service during his reign.
In his words:” The journey to today’s event is a long and tortuous one, starting from insisting that the right things were done to the battle and leadership of the Hospital.” Continuing, he said:”” It is important to note that Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi was established by the Anambra State of Nigeria ( ASN) Edict No.10 of 1988 and was subsequently taken over by the Federal Government by Decree 68 of 10th September 1992, thus becoming a Federal Teaching Hospital. Since it’s inception more than 30 years ago, the hospital has operated from its temporary site which has very limited space for proper patient care and future expansion and as a result, lots of patients do not find space for admission and management and are forced to seek care elsewhere.
This is the major reason we resolved as a Board to do everything possible to move the hospital to the permanent site, a decision that has taken a strong root today”.
In his welcome address, the Chief Medical Director ( CMD) Dr. Joseph Ugboaja stated inter-alia:”Our new hospital buildings and beautiful environment represent more than just physical structures.
They are a testament to our commitment to excellence in healthcare delivery, to the tireless efforts of our staff and to the unwavering support of our Partners and Communities. The buildings themselves have been designed with utmost care and attention to details to make sure they are functional, efficient and welcoming to all who visit.”
Furthermore, he posited:”But the true value of these buildings lies in what they represent–the potential to save and improve the lives of countless individuals who will walk through our doors, seeking medical care. They represent a safe haven for the sick and the vulnerable, a place where they can find comfort, compassion and hope in the face of adversity.”
The CMD stated that their vision is to rank among the best 5 Hospitals in Nigeria by the year 2030 and ultimately become the best Hospital in Nigeria. He also pointed out that their vision rests on 9 Strategic Pillars which are: Strong Corporate Governance Structure, Infrastructural Development,Use of State of the Art and Modern Equipments, Strategic Human Resources Management and Robust Financial Management System. Others include: Staff Welfare and Motivation, Partnership and Collaboration, Use of ICT and E- Medicine as well as Research and Innovations. Among those present were, the Igwe Nnewi, the Obi of Onitsha, the Igwe of Oraifite, the Igwe of Ozubulu and other Royal Fathers. Top Government Functionaries included, the Honourable Minister of State for Health,Hon.Joseph Ekumankama, Mr. Ben Akabueze, the Director–General Budget Office Of The Federation, Her Excellency Mrs. Adejoke Orelope–Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDG and the Anambra State Commissioner for Health who represented the Governor,Prof. Charles Soludo.
The Chairman of the Management Board of NAUTH Chief Ezekiel Irmiya Afukonya was very much present, so were scores of Hospital members of Staff and other sundry workers.
The Head of Media and Publicity Mrs. Chinyere M. Onwuka JP was equally on ground monitoring and supervising the whole activities and making sure everything is perfectly done and successful and indeed it was a huge success.