. . . Hospital Management Seeks Assistance for X-Ray Machine, Hematology Analyser, Electrolyte Analyser, Flood Control
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor has called on Umuchu people and others, to give the Diocesan-owned Visitation Hospital, Umuchu, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra, State total patronage and support.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who made the call when he made his pastoral visit to Visitation Hospital, Umuchu (the first bishop’s pastoral visit to a hospital) on August 3, 2018, noted that the hospital which offered first class hospital services with first class state-of-the art hospital facilities, was established in Umuchu for health needs and benefits of all the indigenes, residents of Umuchu, and beyond.
Pointing out that constant health checks were necessary for the needed healthy living for all, the bishop enjoined the masses to visit the hospital for their quality health delivery.
This was even as he expressed his dissatisfaction over the poor turnout of the six parishes in Umuchu to the all-important and historic pastoral visit to Visitation Hospital, Umuchu, saying the parishes were indebted to the hospital due to that absence. He however extolled St Patrick’s Parish, Umuchu, whose choir served at the Mass, and the parish priest, Rev Fr. Lawrence Maduagwu a concelebrant, for their wonderful support to the event.
Bishop Ezeokafor during the visit, commissioned and blessed new projects for the hospital. Among the projects were water borehole and 50KVA Sound Proof Generator which the bishop provided for the hospital, Divine Mercy Chapel of Adoration; the Staff Quarter and Pharmacy Building which was built through the assistance of Anambra State Government.
In his address of welcome, the hospital manager, Rev. Fr. Barnabas Toochukwu Okafor, traced the history of Visitation Hospital, Umuchu, which was established as a branch of St Joseph’s Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu in 1947. It was served as centre for care of the displaced and sick by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters during the Biafran War from 1967 to 1970, raised to a maternity hospital in 1970 and had its first medical doctors in the persons of Dr & Dr Mrs. Augustine Joseph from India in 1980.
According to the address, the hospital which became very famous, played host to many personalities, got government approval in 1983 and was in the same 1983, visited by the then Governor of Anambra State, Jim Nwobodo, who at the visit, donated N25, 000.00 for the building and equipping of the theatre.
But regrettably, the once notable Visitation Hospital, Umuchu later, experienced many setbacks and lost its glory.
The manager through the address thanked God for the intervention of the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, who in 2011, appointed a board for Visitation Hospital, Umuchu with Rev. Fr. Clifford Aniefuna A the chairman of the Board; on Oct 3, 2011, sent in Rev Fr Barnabas Okafor as the hospital manager and Rev. Fr. Aloysius Oraekei as the chaplain.
He highlighted the achievements of the hospital under the management of the board and the manager, which included fencing of the mortuary, building of the Casket Show Room and the Embalmment Centre, purchase of two Sienna cars, building of Tuberculosis Centre (TB Centre), provision of TV Cable and TV sets in all the wards, construction of drainage system and building and equipping of 5-room private ward.
Others included construction of an overhead tank as well as provision of a big ambulance, a 50KVA Sound Proof Generator by the bishop and functional borehole, and circulating of water round the hospital; provision of new Ultrasound Machine, provision of new ECG Machine with its printer and provision of new Chemistry Analyser for the lab department.
They also included building and equipping of the new Maternity & Child Welfare Department by the Anambra State Government, renovation of the male and female ward, and the General Out Patient Department (GOPD), building of 14-rooms Staff Quarters with double toilets and bathroom, and building of the Immunization / Pharmacy building, assisted by the Anambra State Government.
Rev Fr. Okafor through the address, solicited for support from the government and all towards the hospital’s needs of Hematology Analyser estimated at N2.5M, Electrolyte Analyser estimated at N1.3M, X-Ray Machine, flood control and subvention to assist the poor masses who could not afford their hospital bills.
Appreciation award to some friends and long serving staff of the hospital and presentation of gifts to the bishop, were highlights of the event which had Sir D.C.U Ezekwo as the chairman of the occasion and the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Josephat Akabuike as the Guest of Honour.