From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
As Joseph Ugboaja took over as the acting Chief Medical Director, (CMD) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi Anambra State, and immediately hit the ground running, various stakeholders have expressed the confidence that the future looks bright under his leadership.
Ugboaja, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, has been the chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) and director, Clinical Services, Research and Training of the hospital until his latest appointment as the Acting CMD.
Unveiling his action plan towards making NAUTH a centre of excellence in health care delivery in Nigeria, Ugboaja said that his vision was to make NAUTH, Nnewi rank among the top five hospitals in the country.
He said the aim would be achieved through massive infrastructural development at the permanent site, procurement of the state –of-the-art equipment as well as investment in strategic human resource development.
He enumerated the development pillars to include teamwork, strong partnerships with stakeholders, regular interactions, strong corporate governance structure as well as accountability, transparency and integrity.
While soliciting the cooperation of the staff and management in actualizing his vision, he noted that any vision not shared was dead on arrival. He assured that under his watch, positive attitudinal change among the staff through trainings, sensitizations and monitoring would be central in his administration.
“In the coming weeks, we will be focusing on the emergency service points which include the accident and emergency unit, the children emergency unit and the labour ward. The intensive care unit, special baby care unit, central surgical sterilizing department as well as the trauma centre will all receive priority attention. We will continue our movement to the permanent site by completing the movement of all clinics to the specialty clinic building thus freeing more space at the temporary site for more services” he said.
Walking his talk, Ugboaja and his team set out to work immediately. The team has inspected ongoing projects, which included the new Central Surgery Sterilising Department, (CSSD), the Specialty Clinic, Virology Laboratory and the standard Isolation centre being constructed at the permanent site.
He said that the hospital’s immediate need included physical restructuring, generator, C- arm and an X-ray with a digitizer. It was noted that hip and knee replacement surgeries, which are the flagship projects of the hospital were being affected.
In area of collaboration, the acting CMD also led members of management and other senior members of the hospital on a courtesy visit to the traditional institutions within Nnewi and its environs. Royal fathers visited included the traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Orizu, that of Oraifite community, Igwe Dan Udoji, and the Obi of the Nnewi quarters of Uruagu, Afam Obi, Umudim, Benneth Okafor Nnewichi, George Onyekaba and also Obi of Irefi, Sunday Anaekweizu.
Orizu said that the office of the CMD was befitting to Ugboaja whom he described as a hard-working medical professional. The Igwe urged him to continue to be dedicated to his duties, which he noted would fetch him more promotions
He advised Ugboaja to always remain transparent in his dealings as the head of the health institution and to do all he could to carry everybody along.
The hospital helmsman used the opportunity to update the royal fathers on what the board and management were doing especially as it relates to the movement to the hospital’s permanent site.
He thanked Igwe for his effort and fatherly support to the growth and development of the hospital.
Another stakeholder, Chief Robert Okeke, recalled how Ugboaja’s tenure as the CMAC of the hospital brought a lot of innovative changes and improvements.
“Some of them included among others, the clinicopathologic conferences, formation of the research society and cancer society; minimal access committee, introduction of total quality management system and laboratory quality management system, as well as the quality improvement committee.
“He also introduced the annual NAUTH scientific conferences and won accreditation for many training programmes in the hospital. So, we believe we are in for more positive developments under him” he said.
Some of the management staff members in the entourage included the Deputy CMAC, Dr Ugochukwu Ejiofor; Head of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Chinyere Onwuka; Head of Accounts, Mrs. V.C.Nduka; Head of Works, Mrs. Pamela Ohanaja, among others.