The Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Mallam Bello Maigari, urged the benefiting health centre to make the most of the equipment
Judex Okoro, Calabar
Community health care delivery received a major boost recently as the National Lottery Trust Fund has donated a multi-million naira medical equipment to Okundi Primary Healthcare centre.
Some of the equipment donated include 10 bed, 10 mattresses, surgical equipment, digital x-ray machine for diagnosis, ultramodern scanning machine. This is aimed at improving the healthcare needs of the citizenry and as well as achieve one of the sustainable development goals.
The Okundi Primary Healthcare centre in Boki local government Area of Cross River State, was established in 1961 with the assistance of late Chief Matthew T. Mbu, Nigeria’s Former diplomat and foreign affairs minister and has been serving the community and its environs.
The thirty bed healthcare centre, which is one of the oldest medical centres and has over the years delivered exceptional medical services to the agrarian communities in Boki, could not be sustained any longer due to lack of funding and other basic facilities.
However, health centre came alive again following the donation of multi-million naira medical equipment by the Nigerian Lottery Trust Fund, thereby bringing huge relief to the community.
Speaking on its benefits to the area, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, National Lottery Trust Fund, Hon Chris Etta, said the intervention is a welcome development and has brought huge relief to the people of the area.
The former member of the House of Representatives, representing Boki/Ikom federal constituency, said the community has no facility near what the fund has donated and enjoined good use of it to improve the healthcare needs of the people.
“We do not have any facility near this and for the people to do an X-ray, they have to go to Ogoja or Ikom. Now that transportation and risk has been taken off so any Boki person who is sick just comes here.
“It has been the prayer of the people and God has answered it. We thank the President as well as the National Lottery Trust Fund and the whole lottery industry. Even the players of lottery, they are the ones who made all these possible.
“We have always seen government facilities being poorly managed, because it is not our property, we have this detached attitude towards them. So the management should sit down and look at the proper mechanism that can make the facility sustainable,” he said. Speaking while handing over the equipment to the management of the centre, the Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Mallam Bello Maigari, urged the benefiting health centre to make the most of the equipment, saying the intervention is in line with mandate of the Trust Fund.
He said the government of President Buhari is committed to improving the health care needs of the people and disclosed that the National Lottery Act of 2005 empowers it to utilize proceeds generated from lottery operations across the country for good cause projects.
“The exercise of equipping this hospital with critical medical facilities through funding from the national lottery is a clear demonstration of government’s desire to foster better inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of our society especially women and children.
“We are confident this special intervention will assist the community to address its immediate need in the area of prompt access to good medical attention.
In her remarks, the Director of the Primary Healthcare centre, Mrs Owan Emerencia, commended the government for the intervening, promising that the management of the centre will put the facilities to effective use.
“We pledge to continue to do everything to ensure that healthcare delivery gets to the people. These pieces of equipment are relevant to the healthcare needs of the people and will be put to the optimum use of the people of Okundi and its environs.
“It will assist in service delivery and will help in addressing the challenges associated in accessing healthcare needs by the people”, she said.
Also speaking, the woman leader of the community, Magdalene Tawo commended the government for the intervention, adding that patients in the area and its environs will be better off with the provision of these equipment.
“I and the women in this community are delighted at what government has given to our healthcare centre. We are happy because we have been having so many challenges and we are grateful for this.
“Before now, pregnant mothers usually get stranded and the absence of basic facilities in this centre makes childbirth very difficult. We’ve had mothers who could not take their pregnancy to full term because we lack an equipped healthcare centre.
“So, these equipment are timely and our joy knows no bounds. We are hopeful that the government will not stop at this and do more to the health centre particularly in the area of a resident doctor for the centre as well as operational vehicles, she said.
Expressing gratitude to government for their gestures, the traditional leader of the community, Francis Abang, said with this intervention by the NLTF, history has been made as the community health centre now has facilities which some hospitals in the state may not have.
“History has been made in Boki with these equipment as a number of hospitals in the state do not have these facilities. We thank the federal government and the NLTF and all those who in one way or the other made it possible for the health centre to be a beneficiary of these equipment.
“With the provision of these equipment, mortality rate will be reduced in the area just as it would meet the healthcare needs of the people,” the leader said.
He appealed to the government as well as its agencies to address the power needs of the community as the health centre has not had public power supply for quite some time and also deploy a resident doctor to the facility.