By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€”THE Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has begun discussions with foreign partners to build a state-of-the-art hospital in the Niger Delta region that would bring quality healthcare closer to the people and enhance their capacity in healthcare delivery.
Managing Director/CEO of the Commission, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, announced this when a delegation of Omma Healthcare, United States of America, and their partners, visited the Commissionâ€™s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Chibuzor who lamented the absence of a world-class hospital in the Niger Delta, noted that the provision of qualitative healthcare to the people of the region was paramount, adding: â€œWe believe that health is wealth.
That is why the NDDC has been involved in the provision of free medical services, including sponsorships and referrals to local and foreign hospitals. We believe that we need to have a state of the art hospital in the Niger Delta. That is why we see our relationship with you as one that will bring life, health and wealth to our people.â€
Access to world class facilities
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Managing Director on Media, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo, said the NDDC Managing Director/CEO explained that though the Commission wanted a situation where inhabitants of the Niger Delta would access world-class medical facilities within the region, the challenge of going it alone was enormous.
Ugwoha told the delegation: â€œThe enormity of the challenges in the Niger Delta today is such that no matter how much money we have, we cannot do it alone. That is why we need partners who will work with us. We are ready to work with you.
â€œWe are not interested in somebody building a hospital and leaving it for us. We are also interested in human capital development. We need to build the capacity of our people to run the hospital. There are very competent people from the Niger Delta playing important roles in very good hospitals all over the world and we donâ€™t mind attracting them to come back home in this regard.
â€œBut first, we must also ensure that the proper infrastructure is put in place, so that what they enjoy in your society can also be found here at home.â€
Responding, the President and CEO of Omma Healthcare, Mrs. Lynn Brown, promised to work with NDDC to achieve the Commissionâ€™s objectives in healthcare delivery.
She said: â€œIf you think about how few hospitals you have in Nigeria, serving a population of about 150 million people, the need for more hospitals is just phenomenal, even more so a world-class hospital.â€
Brown promised that Omma Healthcare and its partners would secure equity participation and equipment financing for the hospital project from organizations such as the International Finance Corporation, IFC.