Date: May 21st, 2024
Attendance: 17 Participants
Venue: Bishop, Eneja Hall, CIDJAP

the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice, and Peace (CIDJAP) On May 21st, 2024 held a crucial meeting with the leaders and representatives of the Akpakwume Na Nze community to discuss the future direction and challenges of Ukamaka Cottage Hospital and Primary Health Care Centre. The meeting saw a robust attendance of 17 participants and opened with a prayer led by Mr. Goddy Ike.

Opening Session
Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike, the Founding Director of CIDJAP, commenced the meeting with a heartfelt welcome to all attendees. In his opening remarks, he emphasized the vital partnership between CIDJAP and the Akpakwume Na Nze community in enhancing healthcare services also elaborated more government developments coming to the community – the university building on going – the SMART school aswell to mention but a few. Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike then invited Prof. Paschal Okolie to present the primary agenda and purpose of the gathering.

Address by Prof. Paschal Okolie
Prof. Paschal Okolie began his address by expressing profound gratitude to Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike and the CIDJAP team for their dedicated efforts in transforming Ukamaka Cottage Hospital. He noted the palpable excitement and optimism among the Akpakwume Na Nze community regarding CIDJAP's involvement in revitalization of Ukamaka Cottage Hospital Akpakwume. Prof. Okolie highlighted how CIDJAP's enthusiasm for the hospital's development had become infectious within the community, fostering a spirit of cooperation, community and hope.

He further reflected on how well-meaning community members have keyed into the CIDJAP’s spirit of support when the hospital delivered the first baby, a community member donated 10 cartons soft diapers. Other well-meaning individuals also donated 10 ceiling fans to the hospital. He also mentioned that a woman volunteered to accommodate the Doctor and nurses.

Discussion on Challenges
The meeting proceeded to a detailed discussion of the current challenges facing Ukamaka Cottage Hospital. The key issues identified were as follows:

1. High Cost of Hospital Bills:
◈ Identified by Prof. Paschal Okolie
◈ Proposal: Introduce subsidized hospital bills to alleviate financial burdens on patients. Rev. Fr. Jacob Okonkwo proposed a local fund raising to support those that cannot afford the hospital bill.
◈ Final Agreement: The need for subsidies was acknowledged but highlighted financial constraints. Mr. Godwin Ike urged the community to bear with the current costs, suggesting that subsidies might be considered in the future once the hospital's financial stability is ensured. The attendees agreed to this pragmatic approach.

Water Supply Issues in the Parish and Hospital:
◈ Identified by: Rev. Fr. Jacob Okonkwo
◈ Proposal: Address the urgent need for a reliable water supply.
◈ Final Agreement: It was agreed that this issue requires immediate attention, and a bore hole is considered as the best option for the solution.

Recruitment of Additional Hospital Personnel:
◈ Identified by: Fr. Jacob Okonkwo.
◈ Proposal: Recruit more medical and support staff to improve service delivery.
◈ Final Agreement: Msgr. Obiora Ike suggested mobilizing community members to come up for auxiliary nurse certificate training and support the hospital staff afterwards. Fr. Jacob was encouraged to lead this initiative by putting up an announcement in the church.

Toilet Facility:
◈ Identified by: Julius Iheoma Ezeagu
◈ Proposal: Construction of a new toilet facility to improve sanitation.
◈ Final Agreement: The construction of a toilet facility was prioritized, and steps will be taken to begin this project immediately.

◈ Identified by: Julius Iheoma Ezeagu
◈ Proposal: Hire additional security personnel to ensure safety.
◈ Final Agreement: The need for enhanced security was acknowledged but for now the we make do with the available security personnel.

Future Plans
Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike announced exciting plans to affiliate Ukamaka Cottage Hospital with Godfrey Okoye Teaching Hospital. This affiliation is expected to bring enhanced medical expertise, resources, and training opportunities to Ukamaka Cottage Hospital, thereby elevating the quality of healthcare services provided.

Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike Awards for Hard Work to Ikenna and Julius
Before the closing remarks, Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike took a moment to acknowledge and reward the exceptional efforts of two dedicated individuals, Ikenna and Julius, who have significantly contributed to the success and smooth operation of CIDJAP's initiatives.

Recognition of Ikenna
Ikenna was commended for his diligent work in documenting and disseminating information. Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike highlighted Ikenna's role in writing comprehensive reports on each meeting and promptly sending them to be posted on the CIDJAP website. This timely and accurate reporting has been crucial in maintaining transparency and keeping all stakeholders informed.

Recognition of Julius
Julius was recognized for his invaluable input with the general operations at Ukamaka Cottage Hospital. His dedication and hard work have greatly supported the hospital's activities, ensuring that operations run smoothly and efficiently.

Presentation of Awards
In recognition of their hard work and commitment, Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike presented both Ikenna and Julius with a special gift. Each was awarded a copy of the book titled "60 Lessons." Msgr. encouraged them to read the book, emphasizing that it contains valuable insights and lessons that could further inspire and guide them in their personal and professional lives.

Msgr. Also gifted other two attendee the book, this gesture not only highlights the importance of recognizing and appreciating hard work but also reinforces the value of continuous learning and self-improvement. By awarding Ikenna and Julius, he set a commendable example and motivated others to strive for excellence in their respective roles.

The meeting concluded with thoughtful closing remarks from Fr. Vincent Obu, who reiterated the importance of sustained collaboration and collective commitment to improving healthcare services at Ukamaka Cottage Hospital. The session ended on a spiritual note with a closing prayer led by Fr. Obu, invoking blessings and guidance for the ongoing efforts.

The deliberations from this meeting underscore the shared commitment of CIDJAP and the Akpakwume Na Nze community to overcoming challenges and fostering sustainable development at Ukamaka Cottage Hospital. The proactive discussions and proposed solutions reflect a unified vision for a brighter and healthier future for the community.

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