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Anambra Governor, Others Commend ATASP-1 for Building ‘World Class’ Hospital at Ogbunka



By Obinna Onuorah

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has commended the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase One (ATASP-1) for making great impacts in rural communities in Anambra state. Governor Soludo made the commendation during the official commissioning of a world-class hospital built by ATASP-1 at Ogbunka Community in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Forster Ihejiofor described ATASP-1, an agricultural sector development intervention program set up by the federal government with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) as an important partner in the efforts of the state government to tackle hunger, unemployment, and insecurity.
He commended the management of ATASP-1 for investing billions of Naira into infrastructures that support large-scale modern farming, agro-processing, and improved standard of living for rural farmers. Ihejiofor said: “The truth is when they brought the hospital equipment, I sent an engineer who is knowledgeable in hospital equipment to examine what was supplied to ensure it matched the specifications listed in the bid, and I am here attesting to the fact that this clinic is equipped to the global standard of a cottage hospital. A lot of things can be done here”.
He further disclosed that healthcare workers, especially nurses would be posted to the hospital to provide services to people from the community and other neighboring communities. “We will liaise with the Ministry of Health to upgrade the staffing of the health center to ensure that people from the neighboring towns like Ufuma, Nawfija, Inyi, Owerri-Ezukalla, and so on, also take advantage of the facilities here for their medical treatments”, he stressed.

Also in his speech at the occasion, the chairman of the Orumba South Transition Committee Chairman, Prince Neville Uchendu, praised ATASP-1 for providing such world world-class hospital for rural farmers in Ogbunka and the environment. “I want to thank the ATASP-1 team specially. You are doing wonderfully well because they don’t say what they did not do. When the equipment for this hospital was offloaded, those that I sent to inspect it said that most general hospitals did not have the kind of equipment supplied at this clinic. The kind of equipment brought to this hospital is what Governor Chukwuma Soludo is preaching about because he does not joke with anything that concerns the health and wellbeing of Ndi-Anambra”, he said, while assuring that the council would also liaise with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to ensure that qualified health workers were posted to the hospital as well as security of the facility.
Earlier in his speech, the Zonal Program Coordinator of ATASP-1 Adani-Omor Zone, Dr. Romanus Egba, expressed joy that the hospital was finally commissioned to provide healthcare services to farmers in the area.

He disclosed that the program had supported farmers in select communities such as Ogbunka with the supply of an improved variety of cassava cuttings (seeds), and training on Good Agronomics Practices (GAPs) but felt the need to provide social/ancillary infrastructure facilities like hospitals, water, schools, markets that enhance their wellbeing and income generation.
“ATASP-1 discovered that farmers need certain social and economic infrastructure to improve their productivity. And that access to quality healthcare enhances productivity. That is why we decided to build hospitals in communities that lack them so that farmers can easily be taken care of when sick. It’s only when their condition requires specialist treatment that they can be referred to a general or specialist hospital.

According to him, Ogbunka is the only community under ATASP-1 where we built a Water borehole and hospital at the same place and so urged stakeholders in the community to make good use of the facilities. “This hospital and water borehole built here present an opportunity for farmers in Ogbunka and neighboring communities to enjoy good health and improved productivity. So, we expect that the facilities be maintained and utilized”, Egba stressed, while adding that the program was ready to train and support more farmers, especially youths on cassava and sorghum production.
Mr. Gabriel Orie, the Chairman of Ogbunka Farmers Cooperative under ATASP-1 was full of praises for ATASP-1 for transforming the lives of cassava farmers in Ogbunka through input support and training on modern farming techniques and food processing, especially how to use cassava flour to produce confectionaries. He also described the commissioning of Ogbunka hospitals as a turning point in their lives as farmers in the area would no longer travel long distances to seek medical attention. He pledged the readiness of the community leaders to make good use of the facility. Other community leaders who spoke at the occasion took turns to praise ATASP-1 for providing such a standard cottage hospital at Ogbunka.

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