Awka community established a hospital in 1956 and named it Amaku Cottage Hospital after her illustrious son, Dr Amaku. In 1980, the hospital was handed over to the Government and the name was changed to Amaku General Hospital, Awka. The hospital was upgraded to a specialist hospital in 1991.
With the establishment of a Medical School in the then Anambra state University (ANSU), the hospital was chosen to function as the Teaching Hospital to the University. On May 1, 2012, the State University was renamed Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku.
Having secured a Teaching hospital, the next hurdle was getting the clinical school accredited by the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council. This challenge was taken head-on under the able leadership of the Provost, Prof. F.C. Akpuaka and the then Chief Medical Director, Dr L.C. Ikeako.
The administration of Chief Willie Obiano with his then health commissioner, Dr Joe Akabuike, achieved, within a very short time, the accreditation of 5th MBBS and the graduation of the 1st set of medical students in 2015. Till date, the institution has turned out five sets of medical doctors.
The following Chief Medical Directors have served the teaching hospital. They are: Prof, L.C. Ikeako; Dr Ifeanyi Ezeobi (on acting capacity); Dr Basil Nwankwo (of the blessed memory) and Dr Joe Akabuike, the current one.
Dr Joe is a seasoned administrator, which started in 1989 during his school days as the Director of Socials, Medical Students Union Transition Council, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus. He was also the chairman of Imoke Hall of UNEC (class of 1990). Dr Joe was appointed by Governor Willie Obiano as Commissioner for Health in April, 2014.
Dr Joe’s efforts gave birth to the establishment of Cynvic Medical Consultants Ltd. He was Chairman of the Governing Council, College of Technology, Obosi and currently, the Chief Medical Director of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku-Awka.
He has, in less than one hundred days in office, ensured the procurement of power generating set, solely for the private ward; building and equipping of a dialysis unit and training of Renal Nurses on the use of dialysis machine to fill the long gap of giving adequate attention to kidney patients. He saw to the construction and equipping of Consultants Lounge, the first of its kind in Eastern region of Nigeria.
Others are provision of street lights within the cranny of the hospital; successful accreditation in Pediatrics; renovation of the Children Emergency and pediatrics’ ward; reroofing of the Laboratory complex porch and the side Lab; prompt payment of staff salary; provision of poles for hanging of mosquito nets in medical and surgical wards.
Other achievements include tour to top ranking institution within and outside the state for standardization of epidemic Medical Practices; reticulation of water and additional water tank; inauguration of SERVICOM services; procurement of ultra sound machine; repair of collapsing ceilings at the radiology building; commencement of minimal Laparoscope and repair of damaged furniture.
Because of his steadfastness and professionalism, Dr Joe has received over 10 special awards in different medical categories. He is a socialist and at such, he belongs to some professional bodies such as Knight of Saint Mulumba; Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Nigeria (SOGON), West African College of Surgeons (WACS) Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria. He embraces good things and shuns evil. He is happily married to Dr. Nkiru Akabuike and the marriage is blessed with vibrant and promising children.
WRITTEN BY HENRIETTA AGBAI