From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Implementation of the transformation agenda of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, has continued to gather momentum with the board of management writing the script and the acting chief medical director of the hospital, Dr. Joseph Ugboaja, busy executing the plan without looking back.
In a recent town hall meeting of the health institution, the first of its kind since the beginning of the year, the chairman, board of management, Chief Ezekiel Afukonyo, said one of his major priorities on assumption of office as chairman was how to move the hospital to its permanent site. Outside that, he said he took up the challenge to put smiles on the faces of the members of staff who, he noted, were looking gloomy and dejected, working without job satisfaction.
To tackle the staff issue, Afukonyo said the board promoted 799 workers between 2018 and 2019, while 147 were converted. At the event, he promised the NAUTH workers that more promotions would come their way. He only demanded hard work and good work ethics from them to justify their promotions and welfare packages, among others.
He said: “Our story, or my story, in the board is a success story. We came to the hospital when people were wearing long faces, when many things were in a shambles and we went to work. I could see the spirit of sadness and bitterness when I came here.
“But the story has changed. The Holy Spirit has taken over. Those days when people’s promotions were hanging are over. We have changed the narrative.
“Movement to the permanent site of the health institution is our cardinal objective and it is being tackled frontally. I came and saw a hospital that was overcrowded. When I went to the permanent site, I saw a place overtaken by weeds and reptiles. And we set to work. Today, the story is different. We are now moving to the permanent site, though there are still challenges that are surmountable. We can count our blessings and name them one by one.”
He told the audience that, already, people were coming to partner with the hospital to erect buildings at the permanent site to expedite development of the site. He disclosed that four brand new buses had been acquired to ease movement of staff and whoever had anything to do with the hospital to and from the permanent site. He noted that change, especially to a new environment, had never been easy.
He said he saw some of the workers of the hospital travelling abroad and urged them to always be good ambassadors of the health institution whereever they mentioned it.
On the acting CMD, Dr. Ugboaja, the board chairman said: “We have somebody who is the acting CMD. He is dynamic, young and hardworking. He needs your support. Dr. Joseph Ugboaja is doing excellently well. Leadership comes from God. Give Ugboaja the support he needs as the acting CMD.”
Afukonyo said NAUTH’s management and staff would embark on two weeks of fasting and prayer to draw the hands of God to their movement to the permanent site and emergence of a new CMD.
Earlier, Dr. Ugboaja had announced at the meeting that the management, under his watch, had been on a mission to make NAUTH one of the best five teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Africa. He disclosed that movement to the hospital’s permanent site had been a steady one and would continue to be so, till the transformation was completed.
He said the management, staff and other categories of workers of the hospital deserved commendation as they braved all odds to see that the mission and vision of the permanent site were achieved.
Commissioner of the Federal Character Commission from Abuja, Hon. Bawa Allah, extolled the management for what he described as balanced women’s representation in the workforce. He also promised that there would be equity, probity and transparency in the emergence of a new CMD of the hospital.
There were cultural displays and entertainment by a live band managed by the students of the institution.