The Anambra State Government says it plans to unveil a comprehensive health package that will cater for the health needs of rural dwellers.
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Awka.
Adinuba was reacting to the absence of a functional Primary Health Centre at Awba-Ofemili community, in Awka North Local Government Area (LGA), of the state.
He said: “The absence of medical institutions in the area is not good. We apologise for the situation. We are determined to right the wrongs of all administrations before us.
“The government will soon announce a health package for the people.
“It may interest you to know that one of the major campaigners for the building of a medical facility in this place is the traditional ruler of Aguleri, Igwe Mike Idigo, popularly known as Ezeudo, who is a doctor,” he said.
Chief Alex Otike, a community leader in Awba-Ofemili, had expressed concern over government’s neglect of the primary health centres and the absence of basic infrastructure in the area.
NAN reports that the only facility operating as a makeshift health centre in the agrarian community, is a dilapidated hall with just one ward, built by the community in 1997.
However, a government-owned primary health care facility in the area, built during former Gov. Peter Obi’s administration, through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) project, has since been abandoned.
Also, another healthcare center donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Awba-Ofemili, during Obi’s tenure, had never been functional.
“The most important reason for establishing these facilities is for members of the community to access good healthcare, but we have neither moved there nor seen any visiting doctor or nurse since then.
“The place is overgrown with weeds and trees, and has become a refuge for reptiles,” Otike said.
He said the community could not also boast of clean water, as the people depended largely on streams and nearby rivers for portable water.
“To get a clean source of water will cost about N40 million, which is not too much for government to provide for an agrarian community like Awba-Ofemili that produces rice, yam and cassava.
“We are praying to government to give us the most important thing- primary healthcare, so that our women will stop dying from child bearing,” he added.
Mrs Chioma Chidebe, a petty trader from Umuokpe village in Awba-Ofemili community, expressed sadness that such facilities that could benefit the people of the area were left to deteriorate for years.
Chidebe said several cases of maternal mortality, due to the absence of a functional healthcare center in the area, had been recorded.
“We cannot have such facilities in our area and still be going to traditional birth attendants, chemist or distant communities of Ebenebe and Awka to deliver our babies,” she said. (NAN)