February 13, (THEWILL) – The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has appealed to the Rivers State Government to declare a state of emergency on healthcare delivery in the South-East Senatorial Zone of the state.
Mr Fred Uwikor, the Vice Chairman of the association, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) last Thursday in Port Harcourt.
He noted that the people of the area had generally resorted to self-medication following the inadequacy in the healthcare delivery for residents in rural communities within the zone.
“We want to appeal to the Rivers State government to, as a matter of urgency, ensure that the tertiary hospital sited in Bori, Gokana local government area, is commissioned and put to use.
“This will help to bridge the existing gap in healthcare delivery in the zone.
“The Bori facility when put in use will become the highest facility catering for health needs of the people of the Rivers South-east senatorial zone.
“We are also appealing to the government to reopen the Andoni General Hospital in Ngo town so that secondary cases could be managed there while more challenging cases could be referred to the Bori facility.
“We look forward to issuing a paper on our position on healthcare in Rivers State and I think, the loophole in Andoni LGA in respect to healthcare delivery will form part of our advice,” he added.
The medical personnel explained that as part of celebration for the group’s annual Biomedical Week, its free medical programmes were ways to give back to the society.
“We choose any community within a local area in the state and dedicate a day for our free medical programme.
“We yesterday visited Andoni LGA: sincerely; the people in that area are suffering because of the medical inadequacy in the area
“We saw that there were ailments that had been left untreated. The people have resorted to self-medication because they don’t have an option,” he said.
He noted, “Most of the cases we saw during the exercise needed a longer clinical management.
“So there is an urgent need to reopen the General Hospital at Ngo town, which is the Andoni council headquarters,” Uwikor advised.
Our people are suffering, we saw quite some challenging cases but we may have done something temporary to mitigate their conditions; what they need is proper medical attention,” he said.
Impressed with the mobilisation from the Chairman of the local government area, Mr Erastus Awortu, and the council’s authority, Uwikor explained that this year’s medical outreach offered greater benefits than what was obtainable in the past.
“This was quite different from our mode of operations which covered basically diagnosis.
“This time, with the full support from the medical practitioners, there were diagnosis, treatment, counseling as well as a drug dispensary,” Uwikor explained.
Meanwhile, Awortu said efforts were on track towards quick reopening of the Ngo General Hospital so as to boost healthcare services in the area.