Tina Ezin, Calabar
In a bid to reduce the high number of death due to lack of oxygen in healthcare facilities, the State at both Primary, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health and UNICEF have intensified plans to build an oxygen system in General Hospital, Ogoja.
Declaring the meeting open, the Permanent Secretary, (CRSMOH), Dr. Iwara Iwara reiterated that the purpose of the project is to ensure that Oxygen is made available across the State.
Cross River happened to be amongst the 12 states to benefit from the project as facilities with 24hrs service will not be limited to only Primary facilities but also Secondary and Tertiary.
He said the system is designed to serve the North, Central and South Senatorial Districts as well as the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
Also speaking, the Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) Dr. Janet Ekpenyong commended the Federal Government for the initiative stating that the impact of Covid-19 has led to many deaths in Nigeria due to insufficient oxygen to save lives.
According to her, that there is need for all health facilities to have Oxygen for life sustenance.
The Chairman Medical Advisory Council (CMAC) of UCTH and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Dr. David Ushie, Dr. Michael Nyong 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 should 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.