By Ikeugonna Eleke
A member of the House of Representatives, Chukwuka Onyema, representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency, has identified poor healthcare as a major challenge of people living in rural areas of Nigeria.
Onyema who spoke while handing over a newly renovated health centre in Okpoko, Ogbaru Local Government Area, to the church, said people living in rural areas were disadvantaged in accessing healthcare, unlike their counterparts in urban areas, hence his resolve to use his powers as a legislator representing the area to attract government's attention to primary health centres in the area.
While handing over the renovated health centre as well as a brand new hearse to Ogbaru Anglican Diocese, Okpoko, at St Luke's Anglican Church, Okpoko, the lawmaker said that his resolve to hand all renovated centres to churches was modeled after the handing over of schools in the state by former Governor, Mr Peter Obi, to churches, as a way of ensuring their judicious use.
'It has been the case that all the establishments given to the local government system get mismanaged and go moribund. It was the immediate past governor of Anambra State that initiated the practice of handing over schools and hospitals to churches and one can attest to the fact that these institutions have experienced a radical improvement since the development.
'I realized that when the past governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, partnered with the Church in schools and hospitals, they picked up.
'Normally, health centres are handed over to local governments and most times you find out that when those hospitals are handed over to the local government, the hospital facilities and vehicles end up being run down.
'So, I decided to toe the line of Peter Obi when I attracted rehabilitation and equipping of the moribund primary health centres in my constituency. I went to the Church and discussed with them and they agreed they would judiciously manage the health centres and ambulance. So, we are here to hand over the ambulance we bought and the renovated and equipped primary health centre to the Church,' Onyema said.