The benefiting hospitals are: Mater Misericordae Hospital, Afikpo, N36 million; Presbyterian Joint Hospital, Uburu, N22 million; and Rural Improvement Mission Hospital, Ikwo, N41.2 million.
The others are: Mile Four Hospital, Abakaliki, N30.6 million; St Vincent Hospital Ndubia, N35.2 million; and Sudan United Mission Hospital, Onuenyim Izzi, N35 million.
Elechi, who distributed the grants in Abakaliki on Friday, urged the management of the hospitals to make judicious use of the funds to save lives.
He described their financial managerial skills as ‘second to none’ as the funds were not abused since the inception of the grants in 2008.
“The effective management of the grants has resulted in the reduction maternal mortality rate in the state.
“I commend the recipients for their resilience and with this encouraging performance the people of Ebonyi will in the next five or six years enjoy a comprehensive free healthcare service,” he said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Sunday Nwangele, said that N1.7 billion had been invested in the programme to provide quality health care in the state.
According to him, the initiative has helped to make rural health care services affordable to the people.
“The secret of the success of the programme is in the proficient management of the grants.
“The six rural hospitals have become referral centres, while 47 new structures have been constructed, equipped and put into active use.
“Twenty-one new outreach sites have been established, thereby, extending quality services further into the hinterland,” Nwangele said.
Nwangele said that hospital services had improved with ante-natal care improved from 25,742 in 2008 to over 60,000 in 2012.
He said that maternal deaths dropped from 41 deaths in 2007 to 18 in 2011, while immunisation services improved remarkably which is evidenced by the no polio case recorded in the state this year.
Responding on behalf of the recipients, Dr Nte Mbam of Rural Improvement Mission Hospital said the gesture was an evidence of justice for the poor and the indigent people to access healthcare in the state.
Available statistics showed that Mater Misericordae had so far received N310 million, Sudan United Mission Hospital, N292 million and Presbyterian Joint Hospital, N282 million.
The others are Saint Vincent Hospital, which received N280.28 million, Rural Improvement Hospital, N279.85 million and Mile Four Hospital, N254.91 million. (NAN)