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The drive to establish a medical college for the Alex Ekwueme University Alike,Ebonyi state may have succeeded as the federal government approves the renaming of Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki to Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
Former Vice President Ekwueme died in November 2017. He was in office between 1979 and 1983.
The decision to rename the federal hospital was made known by Ahmed Ramalan, chairman of the hospital’s board, on Wednesday in Abakaliki while addressing journalists.
He said the renaming was with immediate effect.
Mr Ramalan said Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, gave the approval on behalf of the government as it is important to bring the action to the notice of the people of Ebonyi and Nigerians.
“We hope that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will unveil the hospital’s new logo when he visits before the May 29 swearing-in of elected leaders in the country.
“This is a big achievement in the next level mantra of the present administration and it is hoped that the renaming will make the hospital attain greater heights,” he said.
He said the request for the renaming was made by the University and the Federal Ministry of Health graciously approved it.
“The university requested to have FETHA as its teaching hospital as the development will bring lots of benefits to it.
“It will receive funding of infrastructural development from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and manpower capacity building of staff from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF),” he said.
Mr Ramalan said the board had a successful year in the saddle having been inaugurated in March 2018.
“We have recorded successes within the period which include; completion of the construction and furnishing of a 500-seater auditorium and that of a lecture hall.
“The medical ward complex has undergone 70 per cent completion while we have completed the renovation of the Resident Doctors’ quarters.
“We have purchased and installed a 5000 KVA generating set and an Echo scan, blood gas analyser, embedding machine, among others,” he said.
Emeka Ogah, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, noted that the renaming has elevated the hospital to a teaching hospital status.
“We are presently more equipped to execute our core mandate,” he said.
The hospital was hitherto known as the Federal Medical Centre Abakaliki, before metamorphosing into FETHA after the federal government’s takeover.
You may recall that the Vice Chancellor of the federal University, Prof Chinedu Nwajiuba has been at the front to establish a University Medical College for the training of Medical Professionals and a referral centre.