UNIZIK medics alumni association honours NAUTH CMD, Prof Ugboaja, 3 others with merit award of excellence

The Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Medics Alumni Association, Awka, Anambra State has done its 2023 family day celebration with awards to distinguished members of the association including the Chief Medical Director of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Prof Joseph Ugboaja.

Other award recipients at the event that took place at Grand Season Hotel, Nnewi were the Vice Chancellor of UNIZIK, Prof Okechukwu Esimone; the Board Chairman of Enugu University Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Prof Ed. Nwobodo and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, UNIZIK, Awka, Prof Gladys Ahaneku.

While presenting the merit award to Prof Ugboaja, the national President of the association, Dr Evaristus Afiadigwe said it was in recognition of the CMD for bringing a tremendous transformation to the hospital.

He said that a trip to the permanent site of the health institution would convince even a doubting Thomas.

Dr Afiadigwe noted that this was in addition to his massive human resource development.

An abridged profile of Prof Ugboaja shows that he has defined a new vision for the hospital which is, to rank among the top five hospitals in Nigeria and ultimately become the best in this country.

“Prof Ugboaja has set for himself and his team the arduous task of transforming NAUTH, a once small and space-constrained hospital to a world-class institution.

“This vision rests on nine strategic pillars among which are strong corporate leadership; infrastructure development; acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment in addition to human capital development.

“Others include partnerships and collaboration; prioritizing staff welfare and motivation; robust financial management; research and innovation.

“Two years down the line, Prof Ugboaja has left no one in doubt about his capacity and disposition to transform NAUTH to a world-class facility. He has shown single mindedness, courage and strong determination in his quest to relocate the hospital to its permanent site alongside an excellent team that works closely with him.

” Some of the facilities already finished and being furnished at the permanent site include, 300-bedded medical ward; 300 bedded surgical ward; 120 bedded maternity complex; 120 bedded accident & emergency unit; 120 bedded medical emergency unit; 150 bedded paediatric emergency complex; an amenity ward, a new GOPD complex, among others.

“The CMD has successfully installed two oxygen production units and an oxygen cryogenic production unit.

“The giant and bold strides of the CMD in developing the permanent site led to the commissioning of the permanent site on July 19, 2023 by the then President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari who subsequently decorated him with the national honour of Officer of Order of the Niger (OON) in recognition of his sterling contributions to the Nigerian health sector and national development in general.

“As a way to encourage the faculty of medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi campus which he is an alumnus of, he just recently instituted the “Chief Medical Director Academic Prize for Excellence” which is worth N500,000 for the best graduating student of any set as his own way of encouraging excellence in a academics of his alma mater.

“Prof Ugboaja has been a strong voice in the advocacy for the well structured contribution of alumni of various medical institutions just like Medizik members who are based all over the world to come home and partner with their alma mater, to teach the younger ones specialized procedures; and expose them to techniques that they ordinarily would not routuinely have acquired, as well as to facilitate the donation of state-of-the-art equipment for healthcare service delivery and critical purpose of learning within the institution.

“In recognition of Prof Ugboaja’s visionary and transformational leadership style, which has greatly transformed NAUTH and the healthcare delivery system in Anambra State, Prof Ugboaja has been recognized and given numerous awards by many organizations.

“These include NMA Anambra State Merit Award; AMLSN Anambra State Merit Award of Excellence in Leadership; MDCAN NAUTH Award for Visionary Leadership; NANN&M Anambra State Human Resource Award; Sweet Home Award for Transformational Leadership; Quality Leadership Award by Advocates for Good Governance in Nigeria, among others just to mention a few.

“Prof Ugboaja is a man who has deep connection with respect to his traditional roots and has many Chieftaincy titles some of which are, Ochinanwata; Kachisiemeamaka; Ifeomaejiamatu; Chikamsoeje, among others from various communities.

“The Chief Medical Director is a prolific writer and has over 70 papers published in scholarly journals.

“Prof Ugboaja’s motto is ‘With God all things are possible’ and he believes that leadership is service. His trust in God Almighty to do the unthinkable for anyone who believes in Him remains his biggest strength, “his profile read in part.

To join him for the award ceremony was the entire management team including the CMAC, Prof Ogochukwu Oguejiofor, the Chief of Staff, Mr Jackson Njoku, and head of Corporate Affairs, Mrs Chinyere Onwuka.

The event attracted who is who in the medical profession, mainly the products of UNIZIK.

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