Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate for the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal constituency in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, Hon. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, has formally handed over a 250 beds cottage hospital and two ambulances located at Onicha Uku, Aniocha North LGA, Delta state, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The cottage hospital project which had been completed since 2013 and is worth well over N2 billion, was handed over to the Federal Government on Thursday, December 19, 2018 in a well attended ceremony, witnessed and graced by eminent personalities which also had in attendance, the Delta State Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who were ably represented at the event.
Hon Elumelu, a two-terms former member of the Federal House of Representatives from 2007-2015, had started and completed the project in his Federal Constituency, adjudged as one of the biggest cottage hospitals built under primary health care, when he was Chairman, House Committee on Health and the structure also includes well furnished Doctors, Nurses and Midwives quarters, as well as an already installed standby 2kva generator to compliment the epileptic power supply in the area.
In his welcome address, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu said that though he had not been actively involved in the budgeting process for the construction of the hospital, the cost of the project was however in the neighbourhood of N2 billion, even as he added that the hospital is part of his constituency project for the people of the four local government areas that comprise Aniocha/Oshimili Federal constituency.
The seasoned Aniocha North politician, who enthused that the vision to build the hospital was nurtured, following his mother’s quest for a hospital to take care of expectant mothers so as to avert infant mortality, affirmed that the project was one of the greatest things that has happened to his community in the local government, even as he said that the facility will be affiliated to the Federal Medical Centre as an outreach station, adding further that the hospital is a 250 bed hospital with all state of the art medical facilities, comfortable accommodation for resident doctors, nurses and midwives, as well as the two KVA generator that will supply uninterrupted power supply to the hospital without interruption.
Elumelu said: “Once you are appointed to this place, you don’t worry of accommodation, because it is already there and fully furnished. We have two bungalows for resident doctors. So, in effect, once you are a doctor and you are asked to come here, you have no reason to complain about accommodation.
“The comfortable bungalow apartments will take care of their accommodation and they will be happy being in this vicinity. In addition, we have equally constructed an air-conditioned church where our Christian brethren, Doctors and staff, who will be working here, can go to talk to God and seek His divine guidance so that they can do their operations and they will never make mistakes. We also have two ambulances already on ground to commence as part of the start-up facilities in the hospital,” he noted with satisfaction.
Elumelu, who confirmed that the healthcare centre project had been completed since 2013 while he was still in the House of Representatives, but got delayed as a result of the late delivery and installation of the major hospital equipment, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to God for giving him the opportunity and ennoblement to set up the hospital, knowing the importance of health to humanity and the critical objective of addressing the health needs and challenges of the people.
Complementing the state-of-the-art cottage Hospital, the Nigeria Minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, hailed Hon. Elumelu for the visionary and humane interest he had for his people by conceptualising and completing the excellent facility he built for his constituency, adding that the equipment were of the highest quality and rather than describe the hospital as a primary health facility, the project aptly fits into the category of a tertiary health institution, considering the facilities in the 250 bed hospital.
Adewole who was represented by Dr. Salaudeen Olawole Jimoh, Head of the FMC in the Ministry of Health, said the hospital will be of tremendous benefit not only to the people of the community and Federal constituency but indeed to Deltans and people of neighbouring states, who will no doubt avail themselves of the first class facilities and expert personnel in the hospital.
The Health Minister then commended the community for not allowing misguided youths and other miscreants to vandalise the facilities in the hospital when it was undergoing construction, and while describing the cottage hospital as one of the best in Nigeria, directed the Chief Medical Director of the FMC to deploy the best and competent staff to the outreach facility for maximum utilization.
In his own comments, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, who was represented by Delta State Commissioner for health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, expressed delight that the FMC will commence services at the hospital, and while noting that the hospital was borne out of the need to meet the desires of the people of the area, added that the facility is one of the best in the state.
The Delta Governor who explained that the healthcare centre would bring a lot of benefits to the community and environs as well as compliment his giant stride in the health sector, pledged that his administration would continue to ensure adequate community involvement and participation in the health sector through a more robust collaboration with relevant private healthcare providers, to drive the sustainable healthcare programme, as contained in the SMART Agenda, to the grassroots across the state.
The Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the Federal Medical Center, FMC Asaba, Dr. Victor Osiatuma, commended the Minister of Health for speeding up the process to take over the hospital, adding that by January 2019, full medical services will commence at the Onicha Uku cottage hospital.
Dr. Osaituma, who expressed happiness that neither the structure nor equipment had been vandalized or stolen by unscrupulous elements since they arrived in 2013, promised that the same quality of staff and services operating at FMC Asaba will also be provided in the new hospital, just as surgeries, investigations, deliveries and other key health services and operations will be done at the hospital.
Reacting to the project, some of the constituents who spoke after the handing over ceremony, described Hon. Ndudi Elumelu as the best thing to happen to their community and environment politically, even as they stressed further, that his nomination to represent the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency again in 2019, is indeed a divine answer to their prayers for quality representation, which had been denied then in recent times, because they know that he will never forget his people.
The epoch making event attracted and was witnessed by prominent traditional rulers from the Aniocha/Oshimili axis, top government officials from Delta State and Abuja, including the chairman of Aniocha North LGA, Hon. Chuks Oseme, the Chairman, FMC governing board, Senator Abdulkadir Alkali Jajere, as well as and other senior staff of the Federal Ministry of Health.
Source report by Philip Ng. Ifechukwude-Kwusike