History was made in Umuahia as the first Abia State Children Specialist Hospital named after AnneMarie Jackson built and equipped by the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in partnership with Abians in Diaspora was commissioned for use.
Speaking at the event which took place at the Hospital premises, opposite the Central Police Station, Bende road Umuahia, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said his decision to establish the Specialist Hospital stems from the need to tackle infant and maternal mortality and improve on health care delivery in the state.
The Governor revealed that his administration was keen on building a Center that will cater for the healthcare needs of Children adding that the Children’s Specialist Hospital boasts of all equipment needed to speak to the needs of children between 0-18 years.
The Governor while pointing out that it is the right of every child to live, said it is the responsibility of government to give every Abia child an opportunity and a fair chance to live.
He further explained that the hospital was fully funded by the state government while critical and technical collaborations and expertise of Abians in the diaspora were sought in order to achieve the project.
Governor Ikpeazu reiterated that the second name AnnaMarie Jackson Medical Center was adopted to keep to his promise to Dr. Jackson who facilitated the importation of medical equipment that has supported the project.
Speaking while commissioning the project, the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu described the health facility as of international standard based on the state of the art facilities in the hospital adding that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has through the project written his name in gold.
He said that those elected on the platform of the PDP have the mandate to identify with projects capable of improving the living standard of the masses which he noted Governor Ikpeazu has demonstrated, maintaining that Abia will continue to be a PDP state.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Osuji, applauded the Governor for providing adequate health care system that is affordable and accessible to Abians, pointing out that the present administration has provided quality health care system as evidenced by the number of basic Health Care Centres, the Health Trust Fund, Abia State Health Insurance Scheme and Abia TeleHealth Initiative among others.
The Health Commissioner said the facility will serve as a training institution for medical and nursing interns specializing in paediatrics and child health.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the Abia State Diaspora Commission, Dr. Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu said the facility was specially built to cater for the needs of children.
Dr. Erondu explained that the facility provides kid-centered care to children from newborn to 18 years, and will be staffed by well trained Professionals in the area of child care.
Dr. Ngozi Erondu explained that given the anticipated shortage of well qualified personnel, Diaspora Abians will be engaged to provide their knowledge and expertise which will help in filling the gap while the equipment dedicated to the care of children will be sourced and provided rather than applying inefficient approach of adjusting adult equipment to fit their needs.
Also speaking, Dr. Mrs. Edith Ugboaja, the Project Consultant noted that the idea of building a children’s hospital is a noble stride of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and applauded the Governor’s vision and commitment in giving the health sector a facelift.
Dr. Ugboaja revealed that some of the services to be rendered by the hospital include caring for children aged 0 to 18, Neonatology, Surgery, Pharmacy, Laboratory, X-ray, Ultrasound, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
Wife of the Governor, Dr. Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, Deputy Governor Sir. Ude Oko Chukwu and his wife, Members of the National and State Assemblies, Members of the State Executive Council, Members of the National and State Working Committees of the PDP and other dignitaries were present at the very impressive event.