Alex Ekweme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA) on Wednesday launched a multi-million electronic capturing machine for the staff attendance in the institution.
Marking the event, the Chief Medical Doctor and Managing Director of the hospital, Dr. Emeka Ogah said the launching of the machine was first of its kind in the whole country.
TIMELY POST learnt that the top management of the institution had since 2015 planned to have an electronic data capturing machine which will serve as the staff’s daily register.
However, the plan according to the Managing Director did not work out immediately, but in their pursuit for the machine, they eventually actualized it this year and its launching was delayed due to some challenges.
He said, “In 2015 when we took over the office, we had top management meeting, and it was availed that we should have an electronic data capturing machine that will serve as the daily register for staff. That plan did not work out then. But God being so kind in our side, we were able to actualize it this year. We supposed to have launched this in January but because of some problems and the outbreak of COVID-19 in February this year, it was not possible. For the fact that we need this, we have to launch it, and we did not start immediately because of Covid-19 issues.”
He added that the machine to have started operation would help boosting staff service delivery and checkmating absenteeism and lateness to work.
The Chief Medical Doctor also said, the machine would help to reduce clustering of staff while ‘signing in and out’ in the attandance register especially at this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
“This period, we started using this machine, it will help us. Some people are asking why we are doing this in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. How will we maintain social distance? You can see the machine. It is face capturing machine. You don’t have any contact with the machine. You don’t need to press it. All you need to do is to go close to the distance that the machine will now capture your face, and mention your name and record all your data with the time you come in. When you leave, the same thing will also happen. Before, you have to write your name in the register, that warrants clustering, but this does not encourage clustering this time. You will just pass. Then, it will capture you immediately and you will start going to the place of your work. In less than five seconds, you are captured and you leave. So, fear of people clustering will not arise”, he added.
He, therefore, expressed joy with the hospital unionists and staff, Nwokpo Godwin, Nnadozie Ugochukwu, Calistus Azubuike Okonkwo, among others that the machine has started capturing them, calling other sectors especially the health institutions to follow suite; saying the new development would drastically reduce truancy and lateness to work.