Thompson & Grace Medical University signs partnership to boost healthcare
Thompson & Grace Investment Limited (TGIL) has joined other public institutions globally to assist WHO achieve its over-arching objective with the establishment of the proposed Thompson & Grace Medical University (TGMU) and Thompson & Grace Specialty Hospital (TGSH) in Nigeria. Expectedly, the successful establishment of these two major health facilities located in Afaha Obong, an outskirt of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, may not be achieved without the collaborative efforts of foreign expert institutions from developed economy. This necessitated a partnership between TGIL and a German institution, University of Hamburg (UKE) to get this major project off the ground.
The partnership deal was sealed recently at the Abuja office of the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Bernhard Schlagheck, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TGIL and the University of Hamburg (UKE) for the former to “consult in the design and operation” of the health facilities. Although the MOU was signed at the serene office of Ambassador, it was made public by the President/Chief Executive Officer of Thompson & Grace Investment Limited, Dr. Isaac Thompson Amos, at a health seminar recently put together by his organisation to sensitise the health professionals in Nigeria, especially the ones in the academia, on the dream of TGIL to help boost medical tourism in Nigeria. Indeed, the leader of the German team used the occasion of the seminar to publicly present copies of the MOU to Dr. Amos. The seminar was aptly themed: How Education, Health, and Medicine can be transformed to benefit Nigeria and Africa.
While the leader of the UKE team, Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Uwe Koch-Gromus, Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Hamburg (UKE), Germany, signed on behalf of his institution, Dr. Amos signed on behalf of his Group in presence of Ambassador Schlagheck; Prof. Dr. med. Ansgar Wilhelm Lohse, Vice Dean, Medical Faculty of the University of Hamburg (UKE); Prof. Dr. med. Frank Nobert Riedet, foremost Paediatrician and former Medical Director of the Altona Children’s Hospital, Hamburg, Germany; Mr. Armin Huttenlocher, CEO of RES Public Affairs, Corporate Affairs and Consultant to the project from Berlin, Germany; Mr. Ekemini Amos, Projects/Technical Services Director of TGIL; and Dr. Emmanuel Umoh, PMP, President/CEO of XEQ Solutions, Plano, Texas, USA, among others.
Speaking at the seminar, Prof. Dr. med Uwe Koch-Gromus noted that “the UKE, Hamburg, Germany and TGIL, Nigeria, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development of academic cooperation in international education in areas of mutual interest and expertise, adding that the “collaboration established by this MOU will enhance the intellectual life and cultural development at both institutions, and will contribute to increased international cooperation.”
On his part, Dr. Amos disclosed that the partnership would enable both parties to jointly “develop and provide structure, curriculum and practical program as well as administrative and management processes for the Medical University and Specialty Hospital.” He said that these medical facilities are established to provide “training and support in capacity building in the areas of medical education, clinical research and healthcare delivery processes and procedures as well as healthcare management and administration.”
He noted that the partnership would enable the health facilities to produce “increased number of highly trained and competent physicians, other healthcare professionals and facilities to meet the health needs of a rapidly changing Nigerian society.”
The Medical University and its sister entities will therefore help to address the current global shortage of health professionals, as well as lead Africa to advance innovative ways to deliver healthcare to the people by investing in translational clinical, biomedical, and health services research, Dr. Amos explained.
From available information, it is expected that TGMU will not only ensure that health workers are professionally trained on the how-to, but equally equipped with the mindset to complement the existing health care systems, infrastructure, and service delivery. According to Dr. Amos, “it will be sad if products of a careful training such as we are putting in place get absorbed in the unproductive and counterproductive health ecosystem that exists at the moment. We are championing a change in skill and in orientation and by God’s grace, we will get there with the help and cooperation of the three tiers of government and other stakeholders.”
He used the occasion to call on all the governments and relevant governmental agencies to support the dream in the areas of provision of basic infrastructure such as roads, water, electricity, security, licence issuances, permits, approvals and all other relevant facilities that are germane to actualize “our dreams and birth the nation of our collective medical and health dreams.”
Hopefully, the tiers of government would listen to Dr. Amos’ plea for support, especially against the background of the value that the medical projects would bring to the nation. Such values include, but not limited to, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as many African countries would consult the medical facilities for research work. In addition, the project will deepen capacity among medical professionals within Nigeria and other African countries and also attract employment of medical and auxiliary personnel.
More importantly, the two projects will help address the yawning gap in the provision of up-to-date medical equipment and adequate healthcare for Nigerians. It will be one step closer to achieving that dream to have a world-class health facility in Nigeria, thus reducing the need to travel abroad for medical treatment.
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