The department of health services of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education started in 1974 with one trained nurse and one health attendant at the present postal agency of the College. As the years went by, it grew to have a resident doctor and additional trained nurses, by 1976.
The department eventually moved to its present site, which was then a laundry hal and in 1980, a laboratory scientist and a pharmacist were employed, with the creation of their various departments.
The department of health services has metamorphosed from a single sick bay to a two wards clinic of six beds (males, females) to its present 13 beds. Also the expansion of the department not only affected the units but the staff strength as well. The present units are: medical, nursing, medical lab, pharmacy, records, radiology and administrative. The staff strength has increased to fifty eight, including four permanent doctors and a corper.
In 1976, due to the fact that the school of Agric, was situated off campus i.e. at Umuahia, a medical unit had to be set up to take of the health needs of the staff and their families there. The medial team at its inception, comprised of a trained nurse, a visiting doctor and some health attendants. This school later became a campus in 1993.
In 1981, the Orlu campus was opened, with its attendant medical team. These two campuses were later closed e.g. Orlu closed in 1988, and all the staff from the campuses returned to the main college in Owerri.
From the inception of the medical centre, as the department is nick named, it started with an eight hour working time. This was later extended to two shifts, with the nurses closing by 8pm. IN 2004, the department started running a 24 hours services with doctors on call and the locum nurses running the night shifts. With the full employment of nurses, the night shifts are now handled by permanent nursing staff, and the locum nurses phased out.
In an effort to improve and expand the scope and quality of the health services, the medical Director, Dr Mrs C.O.N. Okoro, made contacts with the National Health Insurance Scheme, in 2008. IN 2009, an initial application for primary health care provision covering the medical centre, was made. IN 2010, another application for secondary health care provision covering the areas of radiology, medical laboratory and pharmacy, was also made.
On the 3rd of February 2011, a crack accreditation team, led by the NHIS south east regional coordinator, Dr. Ohuakanwa, visited the medical centre. This visit led to the medical centre being awarded a provisional accreditation for NHIS primary health care services, as well as secondary health care \services in the areas of Radiology, Medical Lab, and Pharmacy, on September 6th, 2011. Full accreditation for these health services was offered on September 27th 2011. The department has received accreditation certificate signed by the Executive Secretary/CEO of NHIS, Dr M.B.W. Dogo-Muhammad the full take off will soon commence.
Types of range of Services
Daily consultations Doctors with 24hrs call duties, in-patient outpatient treatment of a wide range of ail ranging from simple malaria – Acute, Typhoid, Enteritis, Hepatitis, Ante-Natal care, to minor surgeries.
Presently, the staff and their family members are paying for treatment and services they receive in this clinic because the department is yet to receive the NHIS capitation.
Also, due to the fact that the clinic was not registered on time, many of the staff have registered at the other NHIS centres. This will adversely affect the capitation this centre will receive.
The procurement of funds for drugs and other impress as and at when due is still a big challenge for the department due to beurocratic processes.
3. STAFF STRENGTH
To be able to stand up to the challenges of the increasing number of staff and students, the health services department will need more of the following staff;
- Doctors – 1 extra corper doctor
- Nurses – 6
- CHEW – 8
- Attendants – 8
- Medical Records Officer – 1 & 4 Technicians
- Pharmacists – 2 & 4 pharmacy Technicians
- Nutrition & Dieticians – 2
- Optometrists – 1 & 1 Technicians
Thus the department has a purpose – built ambulance, complete with the basic gadgets at the least but needs one more with 2 drivers.
5. WATER AND ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
There is need for a steady water supply, as well as two more generating sets to boost the power supply.
6. GENERAL FACE LIFT
On the whole, the department requires a general fact lift to come up to the world Health Organization standards. An important aspect of this is the tiling of the hospital floors.
Also, some of the units will need expansion to cater for the growing number of staff.
Dr. C.O.N. Okoro
Director of Health Services