The Calabar South local government area, and the University Of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, have both joined diplomatic ties to ensure service delivery in the Health sector, and Employment opportunities, with the aim of stopping women from giving birth at churches or outside medical facilities.
In a meeting at the University of Calabar teaching hospital, the two bodies agreed to work together in the areas of health, and employment.
Speaking, the executive chairman, Calabar south local government area, Hon. Esther Edet Bassey, said, “Calabar south is here to appeal to you, that it is better late than never, we are appealing for synergy between you and our dear local government area; in the aspects of the health centres we have.
“You can take a walk for yourself, come and and see what we have their, the structures we have and the medical facilities.
“Right now there is a structure is a health facility being constructed at Esierebom community: it has doctor’s quarters, and we will like you to come and see it and add the value you can add to it, so that we can give better health care to our people.
“Some of our women give birth at churches and other places and when you ask them, they say they don’t have money; so if you can provide these medical facilities, they will come there and be attended to.
“And also, I want to employ you, to look into the aspect of unemployment in Calabar south, most of our youths are out of school and they don’t have anything to do; some have taken to the streets, to do what is sometimes unthinkable.
“And they have come to me, to appeal that you should do the anything you can no matter how little; to see how you can take them out of the streets.
“At least, that will enable them to have little food on the table, please we strongly appeal,” she appealed.
In his response, the Chief Medical Director, UCTH, Dr. Ikpeme A Ikpeme, assured the people of Calabar south of his commitment, to ensure that he attends to their needs in his own capacity.
“What we normally say to people is that we are a work in progress, we are still involving, but we are committed to do our best.
“We will give to our people, the kind of health services, that they deserve. We seek corporation, we seek synergy with everybody around us; the community around us, in order to be able to achieve that.
“About visiting the health centres, our department of community medicine, will take a look at that, and then see, if there is any way, we can factor it.
“We will call a meeting with community medicine, and then we will take it up from there. We are here to serve the community.
“As for unemployment, it is a difficult position: it is difficult through me, because, we are a specialist area,(so to speak); our man power ratio, is supposed to be 75% clinical staff, to 25% non clinical staff.
“So the doctors, the nurses, pharmacists, that laboratory scientists, the health assistants, the the physiotherapists; everybody in the clinical area, constitute 75% , of our work force.
“Whereas, 25% should now be for what is called support services. We try to balance it carefully; and to address the interests of the local community.
“But very often as you all know, the employment process does not Begin here: So you do all you do here, you are till going to forward the list; the federal character will screen the list, to see if it deflects the federal character, the budget office will screen the lists, can your budget for the year carry you? And so on.
” So, it might look like we are not interested in our host community. But I can assure you that as opportunities open, we will continue to take those who qualify.
“We were excited, when the national council on employment, actually rejected the proposal, to retire at 70, or there about.
“If a regular civil servant stays until seventy, you will not have space for younger people to come in. And by the time you get to the rant of a director, your salary is two to three times, the salary of a beginner. So people should work to a certain point and retire.
“But we have heard your request madam, we will keep that in mind till when we have opportunities; opportunities don’t come that easy; is no longer when you van stay here and send the list to Abuja, you got to do approvals and more approvals which are all dependent on your existing manpower status.
“So like next week, our director of administration, is going to lead a team to the FCT, to defend our manpower budget, for 2021. It is after that defence, based on what we can get, we marry that against our budget, that there might even be a chance to begin the processes of employment.
” But I can assure you that once that happens, your constituents will be taken into consideration, ” the CMD assured.
During an interview session, the chairman, Calabar South LGA said, the health facility at Esierebom, is to caution the unprofessional and unhealthy practice of women giving birth at churches, homes and outside accredited medical conditions and facilities.
The meeting is the first of it’s kind since the present Hon. Esther Bassey assumed office as Calabar South LGA chairman.