In a bid to reduce the high number of death due to lack of Oxygen in the State at both Primary, Secondary And Tertiary facilities, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health and UNICEF has intensified plans to build an Oxygen System in General Hospital Ogoja to serve all of the Northern Senatorial District and a part of the Central Senatorial District as well as the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to serve the entire Southern Senatorial District and the remaining part of Central Senatorial District.
The Permanent Secretary Dr. Iwara Iwara alongside Other Various Heads of the Health Sector involving the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Dr. David Ushie, the Director General of the CRSPHCDA Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, the CMAC of UCTH Dr. Michael Eyong, the head of UNICEF in CRS Dr. Soji, Director Servicom and clinical governance Dr. Comfort Ekanem, Medical Superintendent of General Hospital Dr. Kumar, Dr. Nwosu of Navy Hospital and a host of others all took part during the Oxygen System Assessment Planning Meeting.
Declaring the meeting open, the Permanent Secretary, CRSMOH Dr. Iwara Iwara welcomed all and thanked them for coming, he reiterated that the purpose of the project is to ensure that Oxygen is made available across the State as CRS is amongst the 12 States to benefit from the project as Facilities with high clients influx and 24hrs services will be considered as services/supply will not be limited to only Primary facilities but also Secondary and Tertiary.
Also speaking during the meeting, the Director General of the CRSPHCDA Dr. Janet Ekpenyong commended the Federal Government for this initiative stating that the impact of Covid-19 led to many deaths in Nigeria due to lack of Oxygen as most of them would have made it if they was sufficient Oxygen. She added that there’s a huge need for all health facilities to have Oxygen for life sustenance as such, the innovation is timely and she pledged her support and that of her Agency.
The Chairman Medical Advisory Council (CMAC) of UCTH and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Dr. David Ushie both applauded the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Health and UNICEF stating that Oxygen remains an important requirements in all hospitals. They both added that the scope/idea of the planning stage be expanded to cover other government clusters where the DG of SACA, State Health Insurance Scheme, etc will be part of the process. As such, “UCTH is delighted to be part of the project and be assured of a more stronger synergy to achieving this goal”. Dr. Eyong added.
The head of UNICEF who is collaborating with the FMOH Dr. Soji thanked the Federal Government for the efforts put so far. He stated that in Nigeria, about 625,000 people dies annually due to lack of Oxygen in health facilities therefore the idea is timely and will be of immense benefit to all and sundry. He reassured them of UNICEF support especially in Cross River State and facilities offering 24/7 services as well as all Primary, Secondary and Tertiary facilities to be covered.
In a vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary Dr. Iwara Iwara assured the team that the project will be accomplished within the shortest possible time while thanking them for their positive contributions and ideas.