By Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri
Underfunding, inadequate personnel, lack of essential modern medical equipment and other infrastructural needs, have been identified as the major handicaps bedevilling Imo State Government-owned hospitals.
The Chairman of Imo State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Douglas Acholonu, made this known after inspecting some of the medical outfits yesterday.
At the time of going to press, the inspection team had visited Awo-Omamma General Hospital, Oru East local council area, Amaifeke Health Centre, Orlu local government area and Nwaorieubi General Hospital in Mbaitoli Local Government Areas.
While saying that “the essence of the inspection was to identify the facilities in bad condition and find ways to revamping them for optimal function and use”, Dr. Acholonu however, reiterated the commitment of Governor Emeka Ihedioha to improving the health sector and ensuring service delivery in the state.
Making particular reference to Amaifeke General Hospital, Acholonu expressed regret that “it was wantonly closed down since 2012, by the Rochas Okorocha administration and converted to a glorified health centre.”
Answering a question, Dr Acholonu said that “the state of the hospitals, which Governor Ihedioha inherited, does not give anybody cause to smile”.
He charged the Medical Directors to continue cooperating with their host communities while anticipating government intervention as soon as possible.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Medical Officer in charge of Awo-Omamma General Hospital, Dr. Felix Amadi, briefed the team on the state of affairs in the hospital, which he said bordered mainly on understaffing, erratic power supply and inadequacy of medical equipment.
Dr Amadi however, commended the Awo-Omamma community for their continued support in the day to day running of the hospital, having assisted in the renovation of the Antenatal and Maternity Ward of the hospital.
He disclosed that Awo-Omamma women in Diaspora would be handing over yet another completed and equipped ward to the hospital management soon.