Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel’s prioritization of health care services in the state is a key component of national security and welfare of the people, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has declared.
The former President who stated this while inaugurating the reconstructed Ikot Ekpene General Hospital Phase 1, in Akwa Ibom State, on Tuesday as part of activities to mark the ‘Physicians’ Week 2021’ held in the State, underscored the importance of health to any nation. He called on the various tiers of government to build an enduring health facility that will meet the health needs of the citizenry, lauding the efforts of Governor Emmanuel in providing healthcare services to the people especially with the outbreak of Covid- 19 which took the world by surprise.
In his words, “Let me thank the Governor for making it possible for me to be linked up with this unique project and a hospital that has history and is completely renovated, redesigned, reconfigured for effective healthcare delivery. It is a good way to start the Nigeria Medical Association programme which brought me, to partner the NMA in their annual programme.
‘’I know the President of NMA and others will be pleased that we are kick starting their Physicians Week this year with the commissioning of a General Hospital that has been prepared to meet the health needs of the nation. We have to commend Governor Udom Emmanuel because health is key and whenever you talk about national security, the health security aspect is quite prominent. The Covid-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of everyone, the administrators, politicians, and professionals that health of a nation is key and we must do everything to strengthen infrastructure to deliver health needs of the people”
Dr Jonathan thanked the people of Ikot Ekpene for accepting to be part of the development initiated by the State Government and urged them to support Governor Udom Emmanuel to do more.
In his address, Governor Udom Emmanuel thanked the former President for honouring the invitation to inaugurate the remodelled General Hospital in Ikot Ekpene and accepting to grace the Physicians’ Week 2021 as keynote speaker, stating that the inauguration of the General Hospital in Ikot Ekpene is in fulfilment of his developmental promise to improve the lives of the people in the State, adding that his administration will continue to prioritize critical areas of infrastructure and development.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, the governor re-echoed his commitment towards providing sustainable economic growth, massive investment of infrastructure and creating enabling environment to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the State, thereby moving the state from a solely Civil Service State to an industrialized one.
Hear him, “On behalf of the good people of Akwa Ibom State, I am highly honoured to welcome former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who is in our State at the invitation of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Akwa Ibom State Chapter as a keynote speaker at this year’s annual Physician’s Week in our state. We are grateful that former President Goodluck Jonathan consented to help commission this project, phase 1 of our reconstructed General Hospital, Ikot Ekpene”.
“The commissioning of this General Hospital is a fulfilment of the campaign promise I made to establish world-class secondary healthcare facilities that is General Hospitals in all the 10 Federal Constituencies in the State. Today as we can all attest to, we drive on 25km dualize that was commissioned last week by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, our state has been a construction site for the past six years with several economically viable projects”, he stated.
In their messages of goodwill, the former Senator representing Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial district, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, and House of Representatives Member for Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Nsikak Ekong, and the Chairman of Ikot Ekpene, Hon. Uyime Etim, thanked Governor Emmanuel for revisiting the 117-year-old health facility, giving it modern equipment and personnel that will serve the people.
Senator Ibok-Essien who urged the people to take advantage of the modern health facility to their benefit, desisting from patronizing quack medical centres, however, pledged the support of Ikot Ekpene people to Governor Emmanuel in his succession plan.
Presenting an overview of the health project, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, said the hospital which was established in 1904 has undergone a rebirth through the repositioning of the healthcare system in all the Federal Constituencies in the state by Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration.
The Commissioner for Health, further said the General Hospital will also serve as a training centre for other medical personnel, noting that a new administrative block has been constructed, with the provision of power supply and other units in the General Hospital for efficient service delivery.
Also speaking, the President, Nigeria Medical Association, Prof. (Dr.) Innocent Ujah, who thanked former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan for accepting to grace the occasion of the Physicians’ Week 2021, expressed appreciation for NMA being part of building a new hospital as well as capacity to ensure that Akwa Ibom people attain good health.
He thanked Governor Emmanuel for renovating and refurbishing nine General Hospitals in the state including the provision of manpower in the hospitals.