Healthcare Services To Resume In Rivers Community 3 Years After Shutdown
More than three years after healthcare services were disrupted in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State due to insecurity, the services are due to resume in January 2022.
This followed the restoration of peace and stability in the area by the Council Chairman, Erastus Charles Awortu.
Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Kenneth Okagua, disclosed this during an inspection of facilities at the Ngo General Hospital ahead of the planned resumption of healthcare services in the area.
The healthcare system of Andoni was not spared in the wake of heightened insecurity in the area occasioned by cult related violence, forcing medical doctors, nurses and other health workers to flee the area.
The ugly situation exacerbated the protracted health challenges faced by the local populace.
The Ngo General Hospital, which is a secondary healthcare facility, decayed and was taken over by weeds and reptiles.
However, the situation is different today following the swift intervention of the Andoni Council Chairman, Erastus Awortu, who on assumption of office restored peace in the area.
He also re-activated the Ngo General Hospital whilst strategically engaging with the state government and the Rivers State Hospital Management Board on the need to redeploy healthcare personnel to the area given the prevailing peace and security.
The Awortu administration restored electricity and water supply, and carried out other remedial work at the hospital.
Awortu led Dr. Okagua and other officials of the Board on inspection of the re-activated Ngo hospital.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the inspection of the health facility, Dr Okagua said skeletal services will resume at the Ngo hospital in January 2022 and will gradually scale-up to full medical services.
He said, “This is one of our health facilities that render Secondary Healthcare to the State, unfortunately we had some challenges that made us to withdraw our Staff here. The challenges were security breach, our Staff were no longer comfortable to the extent that they had to abandon their duty post and left for safety after armed men came into the facility asking to see the Doctor and we don’t know what their intentions were.
“I hear the place is now more peaceful, the Chairman has been very eager to get the place functional again, that is why we are here to do a physical inspection with a view to getting the place functional again.
“I am here today with my Director of Medical Services and Director of Nursing Services to see how we can get the Hospital running again. We have seen the assistance the Council has given to us, though there are some things we still need to put in place but we are hopeful that by January we will start some skeletal services and gradually we will scale up the services to a fully functional Hospital again as our resources can carry us”.
Dr. Okagua also hinted that the Board would carry out an overhaul of equipment at the Ngo General Hospital and replace anyone vandalized if need be.
“The Hospital was functioning before the incident, it was carrying out surgeries and treating patients. Those facilities are still there, of course we may need to do some services of some of the equipment, and we need to replace one or two of the equipment that were vandalized”.
Awortu promised to repair some broken fences of the hospital in addition to the remedial work carried out so far at the facility by his administration.