The Special Adviser on Homeland Security and Intelligence to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Dr. Ugorji Okechukwu Ugorji, has ignited hope for the rehabilitation of a Health Centre run by the Daughters of Divine Love Convent at Umuabazu Amuzu, in Aboh Mbaise local government area of the state.
The working tour of the convent by Dr Ugorji and his team was at the invitation of Matron, Reverend Sister Mary Gabriel Izuorah, who has had decades-long interest and connection to the convent before it was momentarily shut down.
Sister Izuorah briefed the state officials on the security concerns in the area, as well as the infrastructural needs of the historic convent of the Catholic Church, which houses a hospital, a school, a morgue, a chapel, farm lands, and living quarters for the sisters and others who work there.
She lamented that the momentary closure of the facility created a leeway for vandals and thieves who invaded the place to steal and cart away items of value.
On the infrastructure needs of the convent, Sister Izuorah was particularly worried about the leaking from the old roof of the hospital.
“Many patients refuse to come here or leave as soon as they get here, because of the leaking roofs when it rains,” she lamented adding that, “If we can get the roof replaced and the sagging ceilings redone, we would have a great medical facility for the community.”
The Matron who is a midwife and registered nurse, said they also needed a resident or visiting medical doctor for the hospital. “People want to go where there is a physician. I have written to the state asking for an NYSC doctor at least to be posted here,” she said.
The school at the convent, which houses Nursery to Primary 6 classes, is named after Reverend Father Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, who was beatified by Pope John Paul 11 on March 22, 1998. Sister Izuorah said the school is currently housed in a building that was a wing of the hospital. “We have plenty of land to build school here if we can get the help, but for now we use a building that was part of the hospital,” she said.
According to her, the school needs final formal approval from the state.
The Matron appealed for tiling of the floors in the rooms to prevent water from surging into the rooms during the raining season. “Even if you can’t do all of these for us, I believe that your visit will help bring attention to our needs” she told the visitors.
Dr. Ugorji, who is a Fourth-Degree member of the Knights of Columbus in the Catholic Church, was taken aback at the level of dilapidation he found at the convent.
Responding to the Matron’s pleas, Dr Ugorji thanked the Sisters of the Daughters of Divine Love for inviting him. He also thanked Sister Izuorah for volunteering to come back to the convent to reactivate it.
“As a knight of the Catholic Church, and as a son of the Lorji and Amuzu Uzonorji joint communities, I want you to know that this convent, brought here by the late Sister Uwalaka, holds a special place in my heart and soul,” Dr. Ugorji said.
“I want you also to know that I currently work for a Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who happens to be a devout Catholic faithful. I will bring your pleas to him and to others who may be of help,” he said.
Dr. Ugorji, a chieftain of the APC in Imo State, promised to send a contractor to put together a comprehensive assessment and costing of items needed at the convent.
“Somehow, I don’t yet know how, we will work to bring back the glory of this convent and ensure security for those who reside and work here,” he assured the sisters.
Dr Ugorji was accompanied on the visit by his Executive Assistance on communications, Ferdy Ibechodo, and his media aide, Mr. Ephraim Chigozirim Anokwuru.