Even though, no cure has been found for the Covid-19 virus that has grounded and crippled the global activities for months now, as the search for its cure continues, countries, states, governments, organisations and individuals have already started preparing and planning the way forward for the post Covid-19 era.
Again while it is dawned on everyone that the virus has come to stay with humanity and could only be managed for now, pending the discovery of its permanent cure, human, social and economic activities cannot continue to be stagnant, haphazard or moribund.
Continuing to be so will indirectly mean that in due course, the world will shut down completely. That is not right or good for humanity and development. This is why countries, businesses and states are gradually and partially easing lockdown.
In doing so, one thing that has been of utmost importance and concern is the state and readiness of the health institutions and health personnel to respond effectively and proactively to the spike in the growing number of Covid-19 cases, especially as the pandemic is gradually heading to community transmission.
As it is often said that health is wealth, no state, country, organisation or individual can survive or thrive in post Covid-19 era without repositioning its health sector or plans for effective operations and responses to the pandemic and other health challenges that accompany it.
Enugu State Government under Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is not unmindful of the aforementioned post Covid-19 health challenges and the enviable status of the state as the regional capital of the Southeast.
So in consolidation on its numerous initiatives, achievements and actions at the peak of Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in the state which helped to curb the spread, the state government has put in place an elaborate health initiatives and projects to take the state into a prosperous post-covid-19 era.
This, Enugu State government has done recently by approving and awarding multiple contracts for construction, reconstruction and equipping of several health centres across the length and breath of the state to complement the existing ones, and make health service delivery accessible, prompt and affordable to the people especially in the rural areas.
Top among the contracts approved and awarded by the Enugu State Executive Council include seven new Primary Health Care Centres to be constructed in seven local government areas and 34 health facilities to be massively renovated across the 17 council areas in the state. Contracts were also awarded for the upgrade and renovation of the popular Enugu Ezike General Hospital and Nsukka District Hospital.
The seven health centres, according to the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, will be “fully equipped and with a water borehole and standby power generator in each of the health facility”.
Aroh, who stated that the decision was in line with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s vision and the determination of the EXCO “to continually increase the state government’s capacity to provide quality and accessible health care”, disclosed that the council “directed the contractors handling these projects to ensure they are completed in 90 days as stipulated in the terms of contract.”
The information commissioner further disclosed that the state government approved “renovation works, improvement of facilities and provision of essential supplies in 34 health facilities, across the 17 Local Government Areas, to scale up delivery of linked services and preparedness against community spread of COVID-19 pandemic by the Enugu State Save One Million Lives (SOML) Project”.
Also approved by the council, according to Aroh, was the upgrade of infrastructure and rehabilitation of the General Hospital Ogrute, Enugu-Ezike in Igbo-Eze North LGA (phase one).
It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi paid an unscheduled visit to the hospital recently and directed the State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to immediately evaluate the health facility with a view to rehabilitating it to serve the public better.
The commissioner added that the upgrade and rehabilitation of the hospital will include construction of a borehole with a 10,000-litre capacity overhead tank; perimeter fencing of the entire land area, and reconstruction and asphalting of the access road.
He stated that the council equally approved the upgrade of infrastructure and renovation works at Nsukka District Hospital to include construction of borehole with a 10,000-litre capacity overhead tank and rehabilitation of an existing 10,000-litre capacity overhead tank, reticulation of water to all existing structures and correction works, external works/landscaping of new hospital building.
The council went further to approve the construction of additional Doctors Residential Quarters at the Nsukka Isolation and Treatment Centre and the purchase of 200 units of ultra-modern automated hand washing machine and hand sanitizer from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu “for immediate distribution to the 17 LGAs, major markets, schools and designated public places to encourage proper hand hygiene in line with the health protocol of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC)”.
With the completion of these gigantic and massive health projects in the next 90 days as stipulated in the contract and directed by the state government and the people of state will comfortably and happily thrive in a post-covid-19 era, having placed priority on the health of the people.
With these health facilities on ground, managing Covid-19 and post-covid-19 health challenges in the state will be easy and affordable.
Ezea, writes from Independence Layout, Enugu.