By Hillary Asemota
An Abuja based socio-cultural and development oriented organisation registered as Igarra as Igarra Progressive Association (IPA) on Wednesday took it’s development strides to Igarra General Hospital, in Akoko-Edo LGA of Edo State.
In a brief chat with the media shortly before handing over the items to the Hospital management, the arrow head of the association Mr. Dayo John Omoogun, expressed satisfaction that the Hospital representatives were on the ground to receive the materials.
The MD was represented by the Matron of the hospital Mrs. Rachael Abubakar who was represented by her assistant Mr.S.O Afolabi was also on hand to receive the items.
The Group made a donation of 50 branded bedsheets and pillow cases to the hospital as part of its community outreach programme to support the Edo State Government’s health drive in the area.
Omoogun, said: “By way of introduction, the association is a pan-Igarra socio-cultural organisation, formerly known as Igarra Progressives Union, Abuja, that is committed to the progress and development of the town without any consideration for family afiliation or any divisive and unhelpful tendencies.
He explained that the slight change in nomenclature was due to the insistence of the Corporate Affairs Commission when the group was officially registered earlier in the year.
He promised that going forward, the IPA will be more involved in its own little way in developing the town that has suffered development deprivation for several decades.
“Today’s event of presentation of bedsheets and pillow cases to IGH is historic, a turning point for IPA, as there has been no similar project to its credit before now.
“While we thank and celebrate our past leaders and members we make bold to say that IPA is on a new trajectory; we are poised to make more positive, meaningful impact in the community.
“The Association under my leadership has changed gear and is determined to contribute her own quota to the development of the community no matter how small per time.
“We are convinced that small contributions may only make small differences but when aggregated will ultimately become significant, as little drops of water makes the mighty ocean.”
During the course of being conducted round the facility for an on-the-spot assessment, the President of the group expressed shock and worry at the level of neglect of the health institution.
“Having gone round to see things for ourselves, we are shocked at the level of neglect the Hospital suffers. A situation where a so-called general hospital has only one qualified Doctor and four qualified nurses with the complement of a few auxiliary nurses is unacceptable, to say the least,” Omoogun said.
Other noticeable inadequacies are, the absence of X-ray equipment; the lack of perimeter fencing, the lack of security personnel, the abandonment of an ambulance donated few years back by another group; the unroofed, abandoned and dilapidated canteen building; the lack of a modern anesthesia machine; the neglect of the staff quarters which was gutted by fire some years back and is now overgrown with weeds.
It was observed that on the day of the visit, there was no single patient on admission in a supposed 70 –bed facility which services a community of over 100,000 residents.
We were told that patients usually do not want to be on admission during festive periods, but we all can testify that a truly sick person cannot be more concerned with any festivity. Is that an indication that the hospital has systematically phased out in- patients operations probably due to lack of personnel and only operates an out-patient department?
The President, called on the Edo State Government to show compassion to the people by giving top priority attention to the Igarra General Hospital and such related facilities in order to protect, preserve and maintain the health of the citizens. Health, they say, is wealth.
He acknowledged the laudable efforts and contributions of groups which have been in the forefront of facilitating the welfare and security of the people in the area.
“As the English say, you do not look a gift horse in the mouth, so we must commend the efforts of other groups like the Igarra Development Association, Avi Ogana, Akoko-Edo Forum even as we call on others to join in the laudable programme of developing our home land,’ the IPA President added.
Responding, the Medical Director, thanked the Association for the items and used the opportunity to appreciate other groups who had been supporting them.
Officers and members of the Association present at the event are: the Secretary Mike Abiodun Sanni, the PRO Barrister Jerome Saiki, Hon. Comrade Ayo Ozaveshe Magaji, Paul Ayo Amunega, Dennis Amadu Saiki (SA Membership Mobilisation),Ojo Haruna. Friends of the house, Fred Apeji and Aweh were also actively present.