By Maurice Okafor.
At the moment, the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Enugu has a new appearance. From its main gate linking Chime Avenue, which in the past was under lock and key, to the new hall beside the gate, up to the clinical wards and administrative buildings, a fresh breeze of infrastructural development is making a difference in the hospital’s ugly past of a litany of decayed infrastructure due to neglect and abandon.
The coming of Professor Monday Igwe as the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Enugu is the secret behind the success story of the ongoing developmental strides in the hospital. Prof. Igwe has brought to bear his managerial skills and experience in the onerous task of revitalizing the various buildings in the hospital, in addition to facilitating efficient service delivery to patients by the concerned workers/staff of the various sections.
Professor Igwe, whose appointment as Chief Medical Director of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Enugu from 2019 to the present time] is the 3rd Medical Director, has endeared peace and conviviality among workers and directors of the hospital.
Prior to his appointment, the unions in the hospital were at loggerheads with the hospital management. The crisis resulted in the suspension of the former Medical Director and the replacement of someone else in an acting capacity. But Professor Igwe’s overwhelming human approach to issues has since calmed frayed nerves.
Prof. Igwe stated, “At present, peace has fully returned to the hospital.” There is a good and cordial working relationship between the management and labour. No staff are denied their legitimate entitlements. We have paid all arrears of salaries inherited from the previous administration, including salary shortfall in 2017, promotion arrears up to the 2022 promotion year, uniform arrears for nurses and many other withheld salaries that did not follow due process before being implemented.’
The restoration of peace is a great breakthrough because services that were hitherto abandoned because of the crisis-ridden environment are now better rendered. The hospital management organizes town hall meetings and prayer sessions for all staff every quarter of the year, Professor Igwe disclosed.
Prof. Igwe’s administration at Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital [FNHE] Enugu, has also converted and upgraded the status of staff of the hospital who obtained additional qualifications. In all, over two hundred staff with additional qualifications have been converted after due confirmation of their additional qualifications from the relevant institutions and the National Youth Service Corps[NYSC] in Abuja.
Prior to this initiative of Prof.Igwe’s administration, the last conversion exercise in the hospital was in 2013 and only 35 staff were converted
The FNHE management under Prof. Igwe also imbibed the idea of capacity building of its staff through training and attendance at conferences/seminars. To a large extent, the department of Clinical Philosophy and the school of post-Basic Psychiatric Nursing were trained by staff from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Abuja. Likewise, the staff of the accounts department were trained by resource persons from the office of the Accountant General of the federation.
The FNHE Resident Doctors were not left alone. They also benefited from the training programs organized by the management. A consultant community physician and statistician trained some interested staff to acquire skills in research writing, manuscripts, proposals, dissertations, guides on the road map to publishing, academic journals and books, and interpretation and analysis of data.
The FNHE management under Professor Igwe has procured psychological instruments and installed CCTV cameras/TV to aid psychotherapy in the clinical psychology unit of the hospital. The management also procured an electroconvulsive therapy machine, anaesthetic equipment, and an electroencephalogram machine for usage in the hospital.
Professor Igwe’s initiatives at FNHE include the computerization of the revenue collection points, pharmacy, medical records, and medical therapy units.
Structurally, the management has facilitated the completion and furnishing of a new multi-purpose complex, which comprises a 500-seater complex with four mini conference rooms. The complex is already equipped and furnished with furniture, refrigerators, and a 1000 KVA standby generator. The retention fee has been fully paid to the contractor.
The FNHE management under Prof. Igwe has also renovated the sports complex of the hospital built for the students and procured sporting equipment to aid both indoor and outdoor sports. The moribund cooperative societies of the hospital have been reactivated by the management and new ones have been established.
At the inception of this administration, the staff cooperative was functional. Two registered societies were grounded by debts owed to them by members; deductions with remittance by the past administration; and poor management. I approved direct deductions, held a series of meetings with executives, and gave ultimatums to debtors to commence repayment. The two moribund societies are now fully active and functional. The members now receive low-interest loans, can make savings with no fears about losing their money, and have already bought vehicles and land for members. Two new ones have also been formed and incorporated.
The fresh air enjoyed by Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu under Prof. Igwe’s administration includes the repair of the abandoned and vandalized 300kva generator of the hospital and the purchase of an additional 100kva generator; settlement of EEDC’s fifteen million naira debt; and restoration of the regular supply of light to the hospital. The repair of the hospital’s water tanker and the regular supply of water to the hospital
Others include the purchase of a new state-of-the-art and fully equipped ambulance, the completion of six outpost stations for community mental health; the completion of a 100-daily test capacity molecular laboratory; the procurement and installation of solar street lights; the procurement of utility vehicles; the procurement of a 10 bedded Intensive Care Unit; and the establishment of Crisis and Intervention unit, among others.