The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla Enugu, has come a long way.
The Hospital was launched early in the 20th century as a standard healthcare centre for Africans built by the colonial administrators. It later metamorphosed into a General Hospital after Nigeria gained her independence in 1960.
However, at the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970, the government of the East Central State transformed it into a Specialist Hospital with effect from July 1, 1970.
At this time, the hospital had a total of 50 doctors, 10 wards, 300 beds and a chest bay of 60 beds. There were also about 350 nurses working in the Hospital. Today, the situation has changed dramatically. The bed capacity of the hospital in the permanent site is over 500 beds and the number of its personnel (both professional and non – professional) has increased tremendously.
By decree number 23 of 1974, the Federal Military Government took over the hospital, but left the management in the hands of the Council of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital became independent in July 1976 with the appointment of an autonomous Management Board
THE UNTH PERMANENT SITE ITUKU-OZALLA
The physical constraints at the old site of the hospital made it impossible for needed expansion to be carried out. The old site was developed and used as a general hospital, therefore, it wasn’t equipped to handle the challenges which come with the operation of a Teaching Hospital. Consequently, the approval of the then Federal Military Government for the construction of a new complex for the Teaching Hospital was sought and it came as a welcome relief.
Today, this new site, which is the permanent Site of the UNTH at Ituku-Ozalla, is fully functional. It is located along Enugu – Port Harcourt Express Way, 21 kilometers from Enugu capital city. All services hitherto rendered at the old site have now been moved to the permanent site with effect from 8th January 2007.
The Hospital site covers an area of about 200 acres while the entire parcel of land is about 306 hectares (747 acres), so there is now more room for expansion to solve the accommodation needs of the hospital. The new hospital complex is also better equipped under the Federal Government assisted VAMED Engineering Equipment Programme which has elevated it and some other Teaching Hospitals in the country to an international standard.
UNTH Ituku-Ozalla has broad objectives of service, teaching and research. The hospital tries to achieve these through provision of in – patient and out – patient services to its clients through her highly trained staff, provision of adequate clinical materials for service and training as well as equipment for research, provision of teaching facilities for training her students and other persons in the health delivery team and conduct and promotion of research on all matters pertaining to health.
Altogether, there are 41 main departments in the hospital with three outposts – Comprehensive Health Centers at Obukpa near Nsukka, Enugu State, Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State and Isuochi in Abia State.
There are 9 training schools/programmes in the hospital viz
- The School of Nursing
- Medical Laboratory Science
- Nurse Anaesthetists
- Community Health
- Post Ophthalmic Nursing
- Peri – Operative Nursing
- Cardiothoracic Nursing
- Medical Records.
These schools currently operate at the old site but plans are already on the ground to provide structures for them on the New Site as soon as possible.
It is also noteworthy that community services rendered by University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital extend to various states in the country particularly those in the South – East Geo – political zones.