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Akwa Ibom Government sets to revolutionize the health sector

Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has said that the state has taken delivery of more than 20 containers of medical equipment that would be distributed to health facilities in the state.

He made this disclosure, during the commissioning of a 300-bed isolation center in Ituk Mbang, Uruan local government council of the state at the weekend.

He lamented that, despite providing over 25 percent of the country’s revenue, the federal government has failed to set up any health laboratory or treatment center in the state, adding that, he decided to set up
a PCR laboratory to handle COVID 19 and other infectious diseases.

“We have acquired 25 additional containers of equipment to set up 2020 standard Intensive Care Units in health facilities across all senatorial districts.

“We have cleared all those equipment and they are at our warehouse. All general hospitals will be equipped to 2020 standard.

“The idea is that anywhere you are in Akwa Ibom State, you should be able to have access to 2020 medicare.
He also announced that his administration has acquired more ambulances to be placed at strategic locations to transport people to any general hospital, “so that we can be well assured of effective health care delivery”.

The center located within the Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang, has a Category 3 Virology and Clinical Lab capable of doing a wide range of blood fat and other tests for those who have core morbidities and polymerase chain reactions with PCR machines for testing COVID 19 and HIV as well as 20 self-contained rooms for health personnel and other workers.

According to him, the situation room set up to tackle COVID 19 would outlive the pandemic and will still be available for medical emergencies.

“Once you call any of our numbers, the ambulance should be able to take you to the nearest hospital or transport you from one facility to the other.”

He thanked the Methodist church for allowing the Government to take over the management of the facility and thanked all those whose contributions have ensured the rapid transformation recorded in two years.

“Two years ago when I came here for renovation, I said that it will come to a time when 15 minutes and even one hour will be too much to travel out of this country for health care.”

He noted that, at present, no senior citizen was able to travel outside for medical care, adding that, it would have been saddening if Akwa Ibom had not been ready for a time like this.

“There is no place like home and if you cannot develop your home, you will always have yourself to blame.”
He explained that, the World Health Organization officials that visited described the center as a miracle and assured that it would help the state in the battle to eradicate the pandemic.

The governor said that, based on the contact tracing projections in the state, he had anticipated the increase in the number of infected persons, and warned that everyone should adhere to the management guidelines of COVID19.

He thanked local government chairmen, royal fathers and health workers for their efforts in sensitization and assured that the pandemic would soon come to an end.

He assured the people of the state that, his vision of a hospital in each federal constituency, would soon come to reality, saying that, the remodelled Immanuel General Hospital in Eket would soon be commissioned.

While work at the Abak and Ikot Ekpene General Hospitals have reached advanced stages and that, the contract has just been awarded for the General Hospital in Ikot Abasi.

He explained that he has been able to roof Ibom Specialist Hospital, provide modern medical equipment there and was currently working towards equipping the second floor adding that, “all we have done and are doing is in the interest of the people and I know that once I am out of office, Akwa Ibom people will stand by those facilities to make sure they are protected and they stand functional for a very long time.”
Speaking at the occasion, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong maintained that despite being world-class facility, it was not the wish of Government to see it filled to capacity, and advised everyone to continue to observe social distancing, personal hygiene, wearing of face mask, staying at home except when absolutely necessary to go out.

Dr Ukpong who is the state Incident Manager said, “our Governor has shown resilience, competence, passion, involvement, financial and spiritual support.

He said the “first isolation center was built by this administration during the Lassa Fever outbreak, and the second was installed at the Ibom Specialist Hospital and this facility is the third that has been established to expanded capacity.”

In a goodwill message, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Dr. Nsikak Nyoyoko said the center would also serve as a center for research and training in laboratory virology.

“This isolation centre is not just for treating infectious patients, but people will travel to Akwa Ibom State to carry out Virology Researches and training that will make our people become world-renowned. We are lucky as a people”

Dr. Nyoyoko described the project as a visionary project by a visionary leader and said the project is what health personnel had always yearned for.

Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem commended the Governor for the vision and capacity, saying that, all the facilities could not have been acquired during the international restrictions but for the foresight of the governor who had already acquired them.

The Governor was later led round the facility by the Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen whose Ministry supervised the construction of the project.

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