Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Nagbana London village is a remote village in Umunnachi axis of Dunukofia local government area of Anambra state. The village which is predominantly peasant farmers is said to have existed without a befitting hospital where the rural populace could access healthcare services. Apart from the lack of a health facility, absence of roads, erosion and flooding are some of the ecological challenges confronting the community where the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Protocol Officer of the Anambra State Government Mr. Uzoegbunam Ezennia Okagbue hails from.
History has it that Nagbana London village used to have a makeshift one-room apartment called maternity, people visited to solve their health issues and pregnant women too were delivered of their babies there-in. The situation had remained the same for many long years until they eventually got a hospital where villagers could respond to emergency health problems as well as obtain health tips on how to live healthy and better lives. However it was an atmosphere of joy and jubilation at Nagbana London village as the people bade farewell to delivering of babies at home as well as general inaccess to quality healthcare services.
It was Uzoegbunam Ezennia Okagbue, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Protocol Officer of the Anambra State Government who hails from the community that single-handedly salvaged the community from decades of poor access to medicare by building a hospital for his community. The joy of the people knew no bounds because the coming of Ogugua Chike Okagbue Primary Healthcare Centre marked the end of peasant villagers from the area traveling far and wide to address medical needs with its attendant excruciating bills.
The unveiling and commissioning of the hospital by the state commissioner for health Dr.Vincent Ogochukwu Okpala was an elaborate ceremony that featured cultural dance displays together with Ogene youth musical group that thrilled the locals who nodded their heads to the rhythm in appreciation of the development brought to the community to ameliorate their plight. It was indeed a ground-breaking ceremony that would serve as a memorabilia to posterity.
On the occasion, the commissioner for health Dr.Vincent Ogochukwu Okpala who also represented Governor Willie Obiano said the edifice qualified for a model primary healthcare centre because it has the medical section as well as residential quarters for medical personnel. The commissioner also observed that the health facility has access to water and electricity stressing that the benefactor has done a great job by building what he described as a model primary healthcare facility for his people. Okpala therefore charged the community dwellers to take ownership of the health centre as well as deploy it to maximum use. The commissioner however pointed out that it was incumbent on the officer in charge of the hospital alongside the ward development committee to ensure that the hospital operated consistently without interruptions so as to satisfy the medical and health needs of the grassroots.He also expressed profound gratitude to the state governor Chief Willie Obiano for getting Anambra state ready to participate and benefit from the basic primary healthcare provision funds of the federal government.
Uzoegbunam Ezennia Okagbue who built the hospital for his community said he saw the need to alleviate the pains of his people in accessing healthcare and decided to bring quality healthcare services to the doorsteps of those in the hinterlands so as to reduce the burden of having to traverse the nooks and crannies of other communites to access medical attention. Okagbue said, “My people must have been lacking in healthcare to have requested me to help them get a place where women can deliver their babies because before now they deliver in their various homes. I am motivated by the things my father did. He was more interested in developing the people. For me, dishing out cheques doesn’t worth it but a genuine philanthropy is enduring and that is exactly what I have done for my community. What I do for my people is not politically-motivated. I really don’t know what i need from politics because I am a fulfilled man. What people strive to achieve from politics which is going there to bring dividends of democracy, I have personally on my own in the last 15 years been doing things for my people.”
Dunukofia local government chairman Engr. Emeka Okonkwo in his address to the people stressed the importance of giving back to the community and to the society at large. He said Umunnachi has many well-to-do individuals but only the governor’s Chief of Protocol thought it necessary to remember those at the countryside. He said that with the building of the primary healthcare centre, the benefactor has put smiles on the faces of Nagbana women, Dunukofia council area and Anambra state in general. The council chairman recalled the era of Nagbana women and the maternity saga where pregnant women faced the agony and trauma of child birth but was thankful to the governor’s aide for leaving his foot prints in the sands of time through the provision of a cutting edge primary healthcare facility where Nagbana women and other people could access first class healthcare services. He therefore emphasized that there was need to find out the felt-needs of the people especially the grassroots dwellers and help them address those needs as it concerns social amenities like the Ogugua Chike Okagbue Primary HealthCare Centre, borehole water facilities and a host of other things that would improve on the living conditions of the people.
The leader of the delegation from the Anambra State Health Insurance Agency to the grand opening of the hospital at Nagbana London village Mr. Izuchukwu Kenechukwu said the state health insurance scheme would use the hospital as one of its referral centres because he admitted that the facility has all the prerequisites of a standard hospital. Kenechukwu further explained that the agency was at the event to educate rural dwellers on the merits of being captured in the state health insurance scheme. For the national president of Umunnachi Women Union Lady Perp Uzuh the building of the hospital is a welcome development because the people of Nagbana had waited patiently for it for many long years. Lady Uzuh said the women of Umunnachi were grateful for obvious reasons because apart from being beneficial to young women, older women too would access the facility for medical check-ups, diagnosis and treatments adding that the building of the health centre was commendable and worthy of emulation. She posited that although there were medical centres in other communities, Nagbana didn’t have what could pass for a health centre until the advent of Ogugua Chike Okagbue Primary HealthCare Centre in the area. Other developmental issues of pressing importance she highlighted were poor road network and erosion menace.
Meanwhile, Chief Raymond Nwabunwanne, a retired civil servant who resides in Nagbana village said the major infrastructural problem in the area was lack of roads. He said no roads existed in the whole of Umunnachi and that Nkpuke, Nkwelle and some other villages are currently suffering erosion devastations. Although he took cognisance of the fact that village youths embark on palliatives on the roads, he noted that such efforts according to him were of no consequence. He however described the new Ogugua Chike Okagbue primary healthcare centre in the area as first of its kind, noting that in the past Nagbana health post was domiciled in a one-room apartment .