From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
There was jubilation at the Federal Housing Estate, 3-3 Onitsha, Anambra State recently following the unveiling of a primary health centre in the area. The estate had been without a public health centre for 28 years.
The facility was built by the authorities of Onitsha North Local Government area, under the leadership of the council chairman, Mr. Patrick Agha Mba.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala commended the council chairman for his doggedness and vision in giving healthcare priority in the council.
Represented by Dr. Uchechukwu Onyejimbe, the Director of Public Health and Disease Control in the ministry, Okpala urged the residents of the housing estate and its environs to adequately make use of the health facility.
“We shall monitor the facility to ensure that the facilities are used properly. There are modalities to monitor all the health facilities in all the 21 local government areas of the state in the areas of personnel, material and finances, as well as in provision of quality health services to patients,” he stated.
Chairman of the council, Mr. Agha Mba said that the project was completed to complement the effort of the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano in providing better health services to the people of the state epically during this COVID-19 era.
“The health and well-being of citizens are paramount and the government of Obiano has done well in standardising our hospitals with drugs and equipment. His proactive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic is vey commendable and his actions have made Anambra State one of the states with the lowest figures of infections owing to the rapid response structures put in place.
“Onitsha community under the able leadership of Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha has won a worldwide honour and recognition by a global health project which recently honoured Onitsha for independently initiating and executing a very successful programme against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he noted.
He lauded the landlords of the estate, led by Chief Arinze Anyaorah for donating the land and for fencing the facility even as he charged them to guard the health centre jealously. He urged the residents to also protect the facility.
The commissioner of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Chief Greg Obi lauded the efforts of the council boss for the project.
“I want to urge all political office holders to leave a legacy when they are in office, whether elected or appointed, which would be used to remember them even when they might have left office in the future. They should always build something that will affect the lives of the citizens,” Obi stated.
A commissioner in Local Government Service Commission, Mr. Ugochukwu Ezeani also commended Governor Obiano for appointing the youthful chairman of the council. He said Agha Mba has the zeal and courage to embark on projects that positively affect the lives of the people.
Chairman of the Federal Housing Estate Landlords Association, Trans Nkisi 3-3 Onitsha, Chief Arinze Anyaorah also applauded the state governor and the local government chairman for the completion of the health centre to cater for the needs of the residents.
Said he: “I am very happy over the health centre. I was surprised when I entered inside the health centre because I didn’t know that it’s as big as this and well equipped. We promise to make use of the facility, which is very close to us, than going elsewhere to access health services.
“This occasion is an epoch event in the sense that since the inception of this estate in the early 90s, no public health facility has been established in this estate.
“The building of this primary health centre was approved by Governor Obiano when Mr. Azuka Enemuoh was the Commissioner for Local Government. The Onitsha council swiftly executed the project while we made our own modest contributions by securing the land from the Federal Ministry of Lands at a huge cost. We also erected the fence and the gate.
“We also controlled erosion and flood that ravaged the site of the project. The Ministry of Local Government approved the control of the soil erosion at the cost of N12 million while we contributed the sum of N2 million.”