Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Anambra State Government in collaboration with security operatives has rescued six pregnant teenagers from a baby factory at Umunya in Oyi Local Government Area of the State.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, who disclosed this to Journalists on Wednesday, said the factory was busted after a raid by the state’s Health Facility, Accreditation and Monitoring Unit during its routine inspection.
He said the facility located at No.1 School Road, Tansian University, in Umunya where babies were being sold, had the name ‘Mother and Child Hospital and Maternity.’
Obidike said the nurses they saw locked up the facility and ran away after they requested to see the doctor on duty and find out why the facility was not registered with the State Government.
According to him, it was security operatives including OCHA-Brigade, Civil Defence corps and the Police that later assisted the monitoring team in gaining access into the facility.
“When we gained access into the facility, what we saw was shocking. We discovered six underaged pregnant girls, within ages 14, 15,16, 17 and 21, allegedly camped against their wish.
“We interviewed these girls and they told us they are being camped by one self acclaimed doctor who they identified as Mr Odili Ossai from Delta State, now at large.
“According to them, when they deliver the babies, Mr Ossai, who owns the facility will sell the babies.
“Five persons have been arrested in connection with the `factory’ and the police will carry out further investigation,” he said.
Obidike reaffirmed the commitment of Gov.Charles Soludo’s administration in stamping out fake and quack hospitals across the state.
“Under the state’s Health Facility Accreditation and Monitoring Unit, we have equally established the state Illegal and Anti-Quackery Taskforce Team.
“The primary objective of the taskforce team is to eliminate illegal and unethical sharp practices within health facilities and enhance the quality of healthcare services in the state.
“The State Government is determined to eliminate all illegal health facilities and quackery.
“It is also worthy to note that the State Ministry of Health has successfully built a database website where people can easily have access to approved and registered health facilities in the state,” he said.
The Commissioner urged residents to report any illegal activities, malpractices or concerns related to healthcare services in the state.
Also speaking, Director, Medical Services, Dr Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu, cautioned other fake and quack doctors operating in the state to shut down immediately.