By Anyalewechi Anthony, Owerri
Chairman, Imo State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Hon. Njoku Onyemechi Michael has decried the deplorable state of public health facilities in the state.
The lawmaker who led members of his committee to some medical outfits within Owerri and its environs to ascertain how equipped and functional they are so as to cater for adequate health care delivery to the populace, said the committee is sadden by the level of decay in most government owned hospital.
Some of the health institutions visited were the Imo State Hospital Management Board, the State Health Insurance Agency, General Hospital, Awo Omamma and the Imo State School of Post Basic Midwifery in Oru East Local Government Area, where the team made on-the-spot assessment of the condition of infrastructure in the wards, personnel capacity and the level of funding.
The management of the Hospitals Management Board had earlier pleaded with the committee to attract the state government attention to the appalling health sector as any delay to urgently revamp the sector could impact negatively on the health status of the people of the state.
While commending the committee for taking proactive steps to have first-hand knowledge of the status of health facilities in the public health sector, it listed insufficient manpower, drugs for patients and lack of modern equipment that meets global standard as some challenges scuttling their efforts to meet the healthcare demand of the public.
Michael who represents Ihitte/Ubom Constituency in the House of Assembly had earlier while being conducted round the Awo Omama General Hospital premises paid the hospital bill of Mrs. Nwadike Blessing who just delivered a baby in the hospital.
In response to information obtained when the team had interactive session with management and staff of various health institutions they visited, Michael promised that his committee would engage the state government for immediate action to improve the public health sector.
According to the lawmaker, Governor Hope Uzodinma is a listening governor who will not toy with provision of adequate healthcare to the people of the state. However, he advised various institutions to judiciously manage funds allocated to them to achieve quality health delivery in the state.
In a related development, the lawmaker while receiving members of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), Imo State Chapter, when they paid courtesy call on him at the Assembly Complex, Owerri, he stressed the need for their services to be extended to the rural areas of the state.
He argued that the move would enable indigent citizens of the state to access optometric service at affordable cost.
Chairman of NOA, Dr. Nwosu Chilaka informed the legislator of its plan to launch a programme called “vision corridor” which according to him, was targeted to reduce the level of blindness caused by glaucoma in the state.
He solicited for the health committee’s support to achieve the drive. The legislator however expressed regret that NOA initiative was coming at a time when the state assembly has passed the 2021 budget into law.
Notwithstanding, he reassured NOA that whenever time for supplementary budget is due, the request will be considered, noting that “sight is the power of living” and must be accorded proper attention.