A governorship hopeful in the state under Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) Party ; an International constitution lawyer , Industrialist and Human Rights Advocate , Chief (Barr) Aloysius Osuji, has bemoaned Imo State government on the increasing rate of infant mortality occasioned by the absence of functional health care centres in the state .
While speaking during his local government tour in Ohaji | Egbema LGA , Imo State, Barr. Osuji with a deep sense of nostalgic called on Imo governor , Owelle Rochas Okorocha and agencies of the state government to consider the health of the people especially, the women and children who cannot travel far distances for medical treatment and related services, and provide them with functional health centres and maternity homes .
He maintained that the growing rate of infant and maternal mortality rate across the 27 LGAs in the state is quite unprecedented even as he blamed such unfortunate health incidence on the absence of functional health facilities in Ohaji | Egbema and across the entire state .
It is quite unfortunate that more than 6 years after governor Okorocha began the construction of his ” world class hospitals ” in the 27 local government areas in the state , just paltry two hospitals have so far been completed ; the Nigerian Navy and that of Ikeduru LGA ; through Public Private Partnership , Abba4thforce.com has revealed .
Barr Aloysius Osuji lampoons the state government for lack of commitment and sense of responsibility to its electoral mandate and campaign promises of completing the 27 hospitals in the middle of 2015 , urging Imo electorate to resist such misleading and deceitful political promises in 2019 as litany of the aspirants will be flooding their various communities with bags of empty political promises rather than presenting tested template and workable framework on how to achieve set goals if elected into office.
The high flight governorship hopeful also bemoaned the state government when investigation revealed that the uncompleted or abandoned hospitals project had cost an estimated N12 billion in total. In moderate term , each of the 27 hospitals is estimated at N500 million , Abba4thforce.com gathered .
Meanwhile , respected ranking Imo leaders had earlier maintained some reservation and expressed deep concern when the governor raised the issue of this ‘ elephant project ‘ without factoring into consideration the financial cost and implication of embarking on such gigantic project given the income and revenue base of the state . And despite the foreseeable ugly fact that existing general hospitals in the state were mere ” maternity homes ” lacking in good road network , access to clean water , regular power supply and highly motivated trained medical personnel ; the governor went ahead to embark on the project only to be stuck half way on the road .
However , an Imo state born London based Medical Practioner , Dr. Damian Ekeh had said , establishing new hospitals in a state with over 300 largely staffed health centres and in various state of repair was a waste of scare resources that could have been channeled to consolidating cases at all levels . In his own words , Dr. Ekeh maintained that : ” It would have been better to have one tertiary hospital with 27 specialties than 27 hospitals claiming one specialty each.
Nonetheless , hinging his Administration Policy Thrust on reformation of critical sectors of the state economy ; which the health sector is amongst them , Osuji also admitted that part of the health challenges was largely because of lack of orientation and information gap on the avoidable health problems . He added that the establishment of primary health centres in the local government areas could reduce the growing rate of infant mortality and maternal mortality rate to the barest minimum.
And since no single country or state can work alone or in isolation to tackle the issue of health challenges , it becomes very imperative to partner with international agencies to help shape global health policies and fund, implement and evaluate health programs .
From the above , therefore , the Imo Reformer , His Excellency , Chief (Barr) Aloysius Osuji , promised to leverage on his numerous international contacts in the United Kingdom , United State and Europe , to bring development partners , big establishments and multilateral agencies like the : World Health Organization (WHO) , United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) , United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) , Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) , Doctors Without Borders | Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) , etc ; in bridging the gap of infant | child morality rate and maternal mortality rate in the state .
Osuji finally encouraged the good people of Ohaji / Egbema to adhere strictly to the instructions of health workers and medical practioners during their seminars on how to breast feed and immunize their babies , saying that such instructions were needed to build healthy families , he concluded .
I will do my best to establish quality but affordable well equipped secondary health centres in the major towns across the 27 local government areas in the state , by God’s grace .
-Njoku Macdonald Obinna-