Contact: +2347033996028 UCTH: Stakeholders Throws Weight Behind Board, Commends Hospital Board For Transforming Hospital - Grassroot Reporters | Nigeria's No. 1 Online Newspaper

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Monday, April 12, 2021

UCTH: Stakeholders Throws Weight Behind Board, Commends Hospital Board For Transforming Hospital


 By Obio Monday

The Board and Management of the University of Calabar Hospital (UCTH) has been commended for transforming the once comatose hospital to a force to be reckoned with in heath care delivery.



It is worthy of note that the hospital before the coming of the present board and management has been a ghost of its former self with dilapidated structures, poor sanitation, lack of electricity and water supply, poor services.



Commending the Chair of the UCTH board for changing the narrative, the group chided a 'phantom' group for resorting to the primitive tactics of sponsoring baseless publications meant to discredit the present Board and Management of the hospital.



A statement signed by Chief Antigha Abasi and Comr. Bassey Effiom, President and Secretary respectively, dated April 8, 2021, listed some of the achievements of the current management to include the overhaul of facilities in the O & G Department, constant power supply, efficient and effective water system that guarantees supply and availability of potable water, amongst others.



It said: "The successes recorded by the current management within two years in office stand in stark contrast to the maladministration of the immediate past rulership.  The reason for such tremendous achievements is not far-fetched.  It can be attributable to the inalienable commitment of the Board and Management to the development of the hospital".


The statement added that it shall "resist whatever act of mischief designed to derail this progressive course of taking the hospital to unprecedented glory and greatness".




Read full statement:

THE RISING PROFILE OF UCTH


When one witnesses any rare form of development in the public sector, it is only natural that one should acknowledge it and also encourage.  This is not only so that such strides be made permanent and sustainable, but to also ginger other public office holders to emulate such exemplary acts and thrive towards matching the standard.  It is such recognition of genuine developmental efforts that has compelled us to venture into this unusual expository article on the current dispensation of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).


Within a decade (2011-2021), it is the last two years (April 2019 – April, 2021) of administration, ably led by the versatile Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Ikpeme A. Ikpeme that has injected a breathe of fresh air into a hospital that had been laid comatose for eight years (2011-2019).  Those were eight painful years of the ravaging locusts, caterpillar and cankerworms; years the UCTH was held at the jugular by interests whose sole ambition and pursuit was to plunder the hospital and satiate their unbridled greed for material accumulation.  Projects and programmes that would have been beneficial to the hospital were scandalously ignored and misconceived as impossible to even initiate; items supplied as “brand new” almost always had queries concerning the true state of their “newness”.  The 515KVA generator and other items in Radiology Department come easily to mind.


Not surprisingly, the goliaths of that devilish, non-performing era, having found it difficult to comprehend the glittering performance of this god-fearing David within just two years, had become discomfitured, threatened and envious.  Hence, they have resorted to the primitive tactics of sponsoring baseless publications meant to discredit the present Board and Management of the hospital.


We believe that such publications are baseless, spurious and inconsequential, and therefore undeserving of any serious attention as they are meant to create distractions.  Moreso because the authors, who claim to be staff of the hospital, are fake.  None of their names could be sighted in the staff nominal role.  As the maxim goes: “Nemo dat quod non habet” (you can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand).  A publication by a phantom group of persons must be treated for what it is: falsehood, lies.


The successes recorded by the current management within two years in office stand in stark contrast to the maladministration of the immediate past rulership.  The reason for such tremendous achievements is not far-fetched.  It can be attributable to the inalienable commitment of the Board and Management to the development of the hospital.  The Chairman of the Board, Col. Abdul Muhammadu (Rtd), as a highly reputed solider who rendered diligent service to the nation and meritoriously retired, has proven his mettle as a gentleman of impeacable integrity by ensuring harmonious relationship between the Board and Management for the overall benefit of the hospital.  Likewise the CMD, Dr. Ikpeme, a seasoned professional, who has brought to bear his administrative astuteness in the day to day running of the establishment.  Little wonder that the hospital has in the last two years progressed at various levels by geometrical pace. In confirmation, we will attempt to capture below a few verifyable interventions made by the current administration that has led to the rising profile of the hospital.



1. Obstetrics and Gynaecology: The current Dr. Ikpeme - led Management, apparently enjoying strong support from the Board, undertook and successfully accomplished the overhaul of facilities in the O& G Department.  The labour ward was tastefully renovated.  A New Triage room was constructed while the Theatre, Antenatal & Gynaecology clinics complex were fully and beautifully renovated.  The icing on the cake for the Department of O&G was the installation of new laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery equipment.  We consider it a tragic irony that the immediate past CMD, a Gynaecologist, could not record any of these achievements for the department even after long eight years in office.  It took an orthopaedic surgeon to rehabilitate this department and upgrade same to international standard.


2. Power: Black-out stands largely banished from critical units of the hospital.  With constant power supply, affairs of the hospital ensue unhindered round the clock in critical life-saving units.


3. Water: The era of lack of water in the hospital is gone.  There is now an efficient and effective water system that guarantees supply and availability of potable water.


4. Environmental Sanitation: UCTH no longer smells.  Drainages are regularly desilted and evacuated.  The lawns are now trimmed and green, so attractive that visitors are commonly sighted using them as background scenery for selfies and photographic moments.  Erosion control projects are also on-going.


5. Dental Clinic: The department has undergone total renovation, coupled with the installation and commissioning of five brand new state of the art Dental Chairs.


6. Radiology Dept.: Similarly, this department has undergone total renovation culminating in the installation of 2 brand new 4-D ultrasound scanners, full digital direct radiography x-ray machine and a new 32 slice CT Scanner. The environmental upgrade that houses these facilities are topnotch.


7. Isolation Centre/ICU: In line with the leadership’s avowed commitment to contain COVID-19 pandemic in the state, a new 30 bed modern isolation centre is being constructed alongside a new 10-bed level 3 ICU.


8. Medical microbiology laboratory: The Medical Microbiology Laboratory has been completely renovated and upgraded to serve as the only anti-microbial resistance reference (AMR) laboratory in South-South Nigeria.


9. Orthopaedic ward: The female orthopaedic ward has been completely renovated and functioning effectively.


10. Staff Welfare: The present leadership has continued to demonstrate unprecedented passion for staff welfare and development.  Staff are sponsored for further trainings relevant to their respective careers and promotion implemented for deserving ones.  Payments of various emoluments are usually managed transparently once funds are released.  It must be said that it is as a result of such show of significant commitment to workers that the UCTH has experienced relative industrial peace for two years now with no local strike nor threat of strike.  Every strike action in the last 2 years had been called nationally.


11. Staff Discipline and Efficiency: While the current leadership has remained passionately committed to staff welfare and promotion, we commend their demonstrable objectivity in the management of issues of discipline and efficiency in service directed at enhancing productivity.  Not only does Management lead by example, but are also firm on decisions made in the best interest of the establishment.  This was recently typified in the Works and Engineering Department where an eminently qualified contract staff was appointed Head of Department (HOD) deservedly.  Expectedly, the appointment drew disaffection from disgruntled quarters on the bases that there is a bonafide senior staff who is “qualified” to head the Department.  However, that argument fell flat on its face when addressed.  The said officer, in the strict sense of the word, is not “qualified” to head the department.  Records, originated and well documented by the previous administration, reveal that he had been twice queried and warned for acts of Misconduct and Truancy.  A warning is taken seriously in the Public Services. Surely, a staff like that whose continued stay in service is by God’s mercy cannot be entrusted with the responsible office of HOD. Besides, the contract staff, although the law allows a relatively short time for such appointment, is a respectable character and his wealth of experience constitutes a dependable source of knowledge the junior ones in the Department shall continue to understudy, benefit from and subsequently apply for the good of the hospital.


12. Okoyong Health Centre:  The Health Centre, Okoyong, has been renovated and modernized thereby leading to increasing patronage of the centre by indigenes of the community and beyond.


13. Completion of Abandoned Projects: Projects which were initiated in 2012/2013 and wickedly abandoned by the immediate past administration have been re-commenced.  So far, the current leadership has re-commenced work on the 56 suit laboratory to Radiology link road and secured visitors car park.  We believe the abandoned 56-Suite House Officers Quarters will soon come on stream.


14. Health Records & Revenue Management: There has been introduction and deployment of electronic Health Records, Information and Revenue Management system which have engendered efficiency and blocked leakages in the system.


15. ENT Nursing: The school of post Base ENT nursing has been renovated and working towards re-securing accreditation.  One the only such school in Southern Nigeria.  It was abandoned by the immediate past administration.


16. Other Interventions: There are other areas of positive intervention including the beautiful streetlight project, the Ward Lightings, renovation of the mortuary, etc.  Concerning academics, many Departments that had lost accreditation to train our people for the benefit of our society have had their accreditation fully restored within the last 2 years.  Other Departments who never had accreditation now have successfully gained accreditation.  We can continue to count. 



If, within a short span of two (2) years the current administration of the UCTH has successfully executed all these valuable and verifiable projects, non of which could be accomplished in 8 long years of the previous administration, it stands to reason that the present administration deserves our passionate and unconditional support. We are hereby giving such support willingly as staff and stakeholders.


We, therefore, wish to particularly counsel the past leadership and their racketeering contractor to desist from their sponsorship of ever failing plots of mischief, calumny and pull-him-down.  They should learn from the divine wisdom that “who God blesses, no man can curse”. Rather, they should join hands with the dynamic leadership of the current Board and Management in their undeterred march to elevate UCTH to greatness.


Going by records available to us, we make bold to say that the UCTH has never had it so good from inception.  We are all living witnesses to a revolution in growth and development sweeping through all facets of the hospital.  As staff and stakeholders, we support the current leadership whole-heartedly, with all our power and all our might.  Accordingly, we shall resist whatever act of mischief designed to derail this progressive course of taking the hospital to unprecedented glory and greatness.


We thank God for blessing our beloved UCTH with a thoroughbred leadership – a diligent and disciplined Board Chairman on one hand, with the support of progressive minded Board members, and an astute and visionary CMD on the other hand, ably supported by loyal and disciplined Management Staff.  Together, they have ensured decorum and tranquility in the hospital, thus all hands are on deck and all eyes focused on growth and development.  

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