… Bishop Ezeokafor Urges Govt Intervention for Mission Hospitals
Regina Caeli Specialist Hospital, Awka, has acquired sophisticated world-class modern medical equipment for standard quality healthcare delivery for the people of Anambra State and beyond. These equipment were unveiled during the grand commissioning of projects and celebration of the hospital’s workers’ month by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese who doubles as the Proprietor of the hospital, Most Rev Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, on Monday, 8 May 2023. The event featured the celebration of Holy Mass by Most Rev Ezeokafor, followed by the commissioning of the projects, reports Michael Nnebife.
In his homily, His Lordship began with thanksgiving to God, who, according to him, made the visible and mind blowing transformation going on in the hospital possible. He then appreciated the Hospital Board of Governors led by the Chairman, Rev Fr Dr. Francis Chidume, for their dedication and commitment that enabled the Management led by the C.E.O and Managers, Rev. Fr Innocent Affusim; his assistants, Fr David Okonkwo and Emmanuel Nwaakasi, to achieve such ‘unimaginable transformation and innovation within a short period of three years.’
Speaking on the projects to be commissioned, the Bishop appreciated in a special way Sinfonia Foundation led by Mr Jean-Luc who sponsored the purchase of major equipment in the eye clinic. He noted that this group, Sinfonia Foundation, had already sponsored the purchase of the equipment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that were commissioned on the 30th of April, 2022. He prayed God to continue to bless them; even as he equally acknowledged the immense contributions of his priest, Rev Fr Godwin Ukatu, through whom Sinfonia Foundation had been sponsoring the projects.
On the second part of his homily, His Lordship went on to thank the staff of Regina Caeli Specialist hospital who were all present and with whom he was there to celebrate Workers’ Month universally fixed for 1st of May, for their dedication, commitment and cooperation with the management, evident in the visible progress in the standard and quality of care.
He appealed to them for more commitment and dedication, reminding them that their work in the health system was a vocation and not a profession for which they must do everything within their power to save lives first.
‘The area you are working in is a very precious and delicate one as it deals with human life. Therefore, as I commend you, I want to tell you that this is a vocation, not a profession where you do your work according to what you are given.
‘I know doctors and nurses have their code and conducts. One is to save life before any other thing, because, life, they say, has no duplicate.
‘Therefore, you must be humane and very careful; follow individuals (patients) the way they are,’ he advised.
Bishop Ezeokafor ended his homily by calling on the state and federal government to aid mission hospitals to maintain standard and quality health care services for the people in the state in the form of subsidies as the former Governor Peter Obi’s administration did. He argued that the mission hospitals provided healthcare services to no other persons than the people of the state and Nigeria at large, and consequently, pleaded with the state government to see the need to help the mission hospitals in the form of cooperation and collaboration.
‘This happened in the past effectively in the time of a former governor, Peter Obi,’ he said.
In his speech at the end of the Holy Mass, the CEO and Manager of the hospital, Rev. Fr. Innocent Affusim, thanked God for his mercies and graces on the hospital that saw to the realization of the day. In a special way, he thanked His Lordship and Proprietor for his presence and for celebrating the hospital staff. He acknowledged those present: over fifty priests; religious women; the hospital Board of Governors; Commissioner for Health, Anambra State, Dr Afam Obidike; friends of the hospital; patients and the entire staff of the hospital.
The CEO/Manager also pointed out that the essence of the event was to get the workers, as well as the friends and well-wishers of the hospital, informed about the availability of the new equipment in the hospital for possible referrals for general public patronage.
For his part, the Head of Clinical Services in the hospital, Dr Arinze Ikeotuonye (Obstetric and Gynaecologist), gave detailed explanation of the various equipment and what they were used for.
On behalf of the hospital staff welfare association, the chairman, staff welfare, Pharm. Francis Okonkwo, appreciated on so many counts – the palliative given to the staff during the cashless policy crunch, increment in staff salary, ongoing general ward/theatre complex among others – to his Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, and pledged continued and renewed dedication, commitment, determination and collaboration with the Management to make this hospital the foremost leading health institution that guaranteed standard and quality care.
In his address, the Commissioner for Health, Anambra State, Dr Afam Obidike, while felicitating the staff on their workers’ month, and noting that Regina Caeli Specialist hospital was one of the best hospitals in the state in terms of standard, equipment, clean environment, professional staff among others, reaffirmed the commitment of the state government to partnering with mission hospitals for quality health care services, while appreciating what he described as the wonderful collaboration existing between the Church and government.
After the Mass was the commissioning of projects: the eye clinic and the radiology complex. Some of the many equipment at the eye clinic include: Hot Air Oven, Wet field Cautery, Trial lense, operating table and stool, Central Visual Field, Operating Microscope, Slit lamp, Lensmeter, eye glasses show room, among others, for quality eye treatment and surgeries.
In the Radiology Complex, notable equipment include endoscopy machines for surgeries and upper and lower general investigations; x-ray machines; ultrasound machine; colposcopy machine for cervical cancer examination; and echocardiogram machine, all housed in the complex.
Bishop Ezeokafor inspecting the radiography unit
In an interview with the press, Rev Fr. Affusim expressed the belief that the equipment and other landmark projects already put in place in the hospital would help to offer quality health services to the people with precision, accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment.