By Pius Udenyi
I believe everyone knows the medical facilities in Benue state are overstretched at the moment. The recurring bloodbath in the state has exalted a strain on medical services. And that some of them are sub-standard makes the situation more daisy and messier.
But medical professionals and administrators like a Consultant Surgeon and Medical Director (MD), Federal Medical Center Makurdi (FMCM) Dr. Peteru Msuega Inunduh have delightfully and patriotically risen to the task. The FMCM is the only federal government owned tertiary health facility in the state, which also renders medical services to neighbouring states .
Managing the FMCM effectively has proven to be an uphill task as virtually at preceding Medical Directors can attest. The hospital is perennially plagued by shortage of personnel, especially medical doctors, poor facilities and restive medical unions. With lean resources, it takes the grace of God to create impact in the management of the medical facility to satisfy public yearnings for qualitative and affordable tertiary health care delivery to the citizenry.
However, an astute administrator and prudent manager of resources, Dr. Inunduh, who was appointed the CMD in 2015 is gradually daring the odds, breaking the barriers and creating unexpected impacts. His judicious application of meagre resources has set the hospital on an unprecedented path of development, attracting public applause to his credit.
I have patronized the FMCM for over 15 years and last visited it three years ago. I have experienced administrations of many helmsman and their near fruitless attempts to transform and reposition the FMCM to a modern health facility. They did their best and to the extent their strength could support, but little was achieved in the pursuit of the mandate of the hospital.
But Dr. Inunduh stands tall from his predecessors, with glaring and uncommon development strides and impacts on the medical facility. What arrested my instant attention two weeks ago, when I walked into the hospital for a routine medical check-up was the improved sanitary condition of the health facility.
Clean wards, beddings, flowery and scintillating environment, with inviting fragrance were alluring. Staff discipline has also improved, as services were speedily rendered to patients and with an unusual politeness. This is a marked departure from the culture of the past when staff were more at home bullying patients. Or put differently, their uncouth official behavior was capable of worsening the health condition of an already traumatized patients battling with life.
I was also pleasantly surprised that aside improving the working atmosphere and interaction between staff and patients, the incumbent administrator has delved into providing special services not offered by the hospital before now. The transformation anchored by Dr. Inunduh has seen the over 20 years hospital offering Upper GI Endoscope (Gastroscope) and Lower GI Flexible colonoscope services to members of the public with a newly commissioned and sparkling Endoscopy/ Laparoscopic Suite.
And quite unexpectedly, the FMCM is operating a functional Dialysis unit, which conducts renal dialysis for the first time in the history of the hospital. These are specialized medical services that have never been provided by had to spend huge sums of money to access the services in Abuja or elsewhere. But Dr. Inunduh has ended the nightmare.
I also noticed that to ensure smooth and uninterrupted services to health seekers, Dr. Inundah has boosted power supply to FMCM by the purchase and installation of a 550 KVA sound-proof generator at the main hospital. Therefore, the epileptic public power supply cannot do any harm to hospital facilities.
Patients at the hospital enjoying these rare services were quite excited. They song eulogies for President Muhammedu Buhari and the minister of health, Dr. Isaac Adewole and his counterpart for state, Mr. Osagie Ehanire for these silent transformations at FMCM, a once neglected medical facility.
They recounted excitedly how they have been relieved from the burden of seeking such specialized services at exorbitant costs in far places and praised the foresight and dexterity of the new leadership at FMCM led by Dr. Inunduh.
Therefore, I have grown up to understand that those who are disciplined enough to impact with little resources, can perform incredibly even when they are trusted with more funds. I am impressed that Dr. Inunduh has demonstrated commitment to the development of the hospital and he is uncompromisingly determined to reposition it as one of the best of such health facilities in the country.
That he has been able to minimize the industrial restiveness in the hospital from medical unions alone is an indication of his unbeatable suave in leadership.
I implore Mr. President and his team at the ministry of health never to slack in their support to the Dr. Inunduh’s leadership of the hospital. At last, something good has come to Benue from the federal ministry of health, by appointing a sentinel who is ever alert. I hope to see more of such positive results sprout from this health facility.
Udenyi is a project manager and contributed this article from Rayfield, Jos.