Abakiliki– The Ebonyi State Chapter of Make Our Hospitals Work, a Nationwide Non Governmental Organization focused at advocating more functional hospitals has commended the Ebonyi State Governor, Rt Hon Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru for the gains recorded so far, in the state’s health sector, since his inception of office.

A statement issued on 5th January, 2023 by Damian Okechukwu Omogo, Team Lead, Make Out Hospitals Work, Ebonyi State commended Nwifuru for his heart felt New Year message during which he passionately expressed his Government’s resolve to “go into the Health sector fully” and that “Ebonyi Hospitals will work”.

The statement however raised several pertinent issues including ensuring equitable treatment of all health workers, in view of the fact that the State Government has delivered on its promise of purchasing SUVs for doctors working in the state’s hospitals.

The statement reads in full:

“The Ebonyi State MakeOurHospitalWork Campaign Commends the Ebonyi State Government, Asks Key Questions about the HealthCare Promises

“We will go into health sector fully,…The Hospitals Will Work”. The passionate heartfelt speech made by the Ebonyi State Governor, Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru on the occasion of the New Year Celebration was met with mixed reactions of joy, excitement, enthusiasm, deep questioning, and palpable confusion by Ndi Ebonyi home and abroad.

The MakeOurHospitalWork campaign group commends the Ebonyi State Government for the laudable steps it has taken towards making hospitals in Ebonyi State work, some of which are: De-merging of the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakailiki so they can now be an Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital; Procurement of 11.2 billion Naira worth of equipment including MRI, CT and other machines as well as generators for the general hospitals and the proposed specialist hospitals; Procurement of 52 ambulances, 20 of which have been delivered; Employment of health workers for the general hospitals including 33 Medical Doctors, for the first time since the creation of Ebonyi State in 1996; and Procurement of Sport Utility Vehicles for the Medical Doctors employed by the state to ease the burden of transportation.

While commending the Ebonyi State Government for the above mentioned plans, many questions have been raised and needs to be answered strategically in the coming weeks by the Rt Hon. Ogbonna Nwifuru led administration, to ensure our hospitals really work and resources put to good use.

Understanding the complacency towards implementation of rules or policies especially across the civil service, is there really any plan or monitoring mechanism to ensure the newly hired health workers stay on duty and the equipment procured is used for what it was gotten for?What is the mechanism to monitor the procurements for the specialist hospitals and how do we track its functionality?Having procured MRI and CT machines, is the Ebonyi State Government ready and willing to embark on another employment drive for radiographers/radiologists to man these machines professionally and if so, how soon do we expect to see that happening?

With the approved De-merging of AEFUTHA for the re-establishment of EBSUTH and the plans to make our General hospitals optimally functional, is the establishment of specialist hospitals in all the zones a priority need for Ebonyi State currently?

Investing in the Primary Health Care Facilities in Ebonyi is the most economically profitable and will achieve better health outcomes for Ebonyi people and the government of Ebonyi State.

What incentives does the Ebonyi State Government have for other health workers employed by the state having made good their promise to procure SUVs for Medical Doctors?

Safe to note that the path to making the hospitals work involves treating every health worker equitably with proper incentives for maximum productivity.

The MakeOurHopsitalWork Campaign group hopes that in the coming days, these questions can be addressed by the government and followed up too for expected positive outcomes.

With the government looking ready to play its role in making our hospitals work, it is time we the citizens and residents of Ebonyi state get involved and participate actively in this tedious yet highly rewarding journey by following up with the health workers deployed to the hospitals in our communities to ensure they stay on duty and respond to our health needs to the best of their capacity and resources. We can also take inventory of the equipment provided for the hospital in our places and monitor them for efficient usage while also ensuring its security as well as that of the entire hospital and staff within our localities.

Communities in Ebonyi State who have created and have functional health committees can do this easily through their health committees and this is the best time to create a health committee in your community/village.

Damian Okechukwu Omogo

Team Lead, Ebonyi State MakeOurHospitalWork Campaign

5th January, 2024″

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