By Cynthia Igbokwe
Contrary to speculations by a section of the Anambra populace that the Anambra State Oxygen Production Plant situated at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, COOUTH, is a project of propaganda by Governnor Willie Obiano’s administration, the Oxygen Plant boss, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, has debunked the allegations saying it’s a distraction by enemies of the Government.
Dr Ibezim made the assertion when Fides visited his Awka office to ascertain the true state of the production plant.
‘We don’t prevent access to this place but COVID-19 protocols must be observed. All you have to do is obey our rules. This is tax payers’ money; nothing is hidden. If anyone says we are not producing, let the person come and see. Even if you are blind, you can hear the sound of our machines. You saw clients with cylinders of oxygen driving out when you came in here. Hospitals can attest to the quality and quantity of Oxygen from here.
‘Both private and government hospitals that have used our Oxygen can attest. We are quite confident in what we do; it’s a legacy project,’ he said.
Ibezim, who also described the production plant as an accident in history, revealed that the Plant had been established before the outbreak of COVID-19.
He also remarked that prior to Obiano’s administration, hospitals within Anambra State sourced their Oxygen from other states, noting that it would have been suicidal for Ndi Anambra during the current period of COVID-19 if the plant was not functioning.
Further, Ibezim disclosed that Oxygen was given to hospitals and primary Health Care Centres owned by Anambra State Government free of charge while private hospitals accessed it with a little token for logistics.
He also said that a proposal would be submitted to see how they could pipe Oxygen direct to specific emergency beds, especially at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital where the Production Plant is situated
Meanwhile, Dr Ibezim who is also a Special Adviser to the Governor on Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practices, announced that they had concluded arrangements with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, to commence an Advanced Herbal Diploma.
Added to that, he said, indigenous medicine practitioners in the state had been grouped into three for easy dealing with NAFDAC, with NAFDAC approving 6 herbal products from Anambra State.