With the phenomenal transformation of the health care delivery system witnessed in Abia State over the last two years, the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has recognised the state as a model, saying Abia has taken giant strides in the primary, secondary and tertiary health care services.
The optometrists were impressed that the administration of Governor Theodore Orji has built and equipped over 250 health centres across the 17 local governments, three specialist hospitals with state-of-the-art diagnostic centre components at Aba and Umuahia.
A dialysis centre has also been added for treatment of renal diseases while 100 bed hospitals are located at Arochukwu, Ohafia, Umuahia South and Osisioma Local Government Areas. Orji has promised that the additional 100 bed hospitals under construction in eight other locations would be inaugurated before the end of the year.
The commendations for these achievements poured in at the 37th AGM/Scientific Conference of NOA, which ended at the weekend in Umuahia, with notable experts in the field delivering papers and lectures aimed at further improving capacity of the professionals in the field.
In recognition of the remarkable development of health care services and infrastructure in Abia, NOA honoured the state governor, Chief Theodore Orji, with the Prime Ambassador of Health award, urging him not to relent in his efforts to make quality health care accessible and affordable to Abians.
National President of NOA, Dr. Ikechukwu Nwakuche, said the award conferred on the Abia governor did not fully capture his “contribution in providing phenomenal leadership for the advancement of health care.”
According to Nwakuche, “For him, good health is tantamount to wealth and for that reason the preservation of the security and property of Abians as well as the provision of adequate health care have come to take the centre stage in Abia development agenda though the legacy projects agenda.”
Governor Orji, in his response, explained that his policy of providing quality health care to the people was informed by his experience as “home boy” who has witnessed how diseases have ravaged families, making some people blind, crippled or sending them to untimely deaths.
He said his infrastructural development projects would be meaningless if the health of the people was not factored into the programme, pointing out that he would be more fulfilled by building health institutions that people can access and get answers to their health problems.
“I’ll be happy if I am a governor of healthy people and not of sick people. It is only the healthy that can enjoy the dividends of democracy,” he said, adding that with good health people would be empowered to ask for their rights and hold government accountable.”