19th September, 2017
By Essien Ndueso
Affordable and qualitative healthcare systems are major indications of a healthy population. A vibrant and healthy populace contributes maximally to the development process of government, as human resources are very essential part in the growth and expansion of all sectors of the society.
During the last democracy anniversary events, Governor Udom Emmanuel emphasized his determination at ensuring the availability of affordable and Qualitative health services to everyone in Akwa Ibom state. The governor, while flagging off the construction of a modern General Hospital in Ituk Mbang to serve the Uyo metropolis, said his administration was committed to the maintenance of a healthy population, since all his efforts at wealth creation, job availability, infrastructural expansion and poverty alleviation, will make no meaning without the people living to enjoy these.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has not relented in ensuring that all necessary facilities and programmes are put in place for the good health and survival of the people. His position was further strengthened by the congestions on the tertiary and quaternary health facilities in the state. For example, patients with issues such as headaches, malaria, fever all troop to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, which is a tertiary facility, and the Ibom Specialist Hospital and Referral Center, a quaternary service provider. To put an end to this, the Governor is fulfilling his pledge to deliver world class medical supplies and equipment to upgrade the standard of healthcare delivery at secondary health centers in at least all the federal constituencies in the state. Over 100 containers of such modern equipment and other forms of medical hardware are seen in batches, arrive the state each week.
The General Hospital Etinan, the Modern General Hospital, Ituk Mbang, the General Hospital Ikono and the Immanuel Hospital, Eket are among the hospitals at different stages of renovation and equipping. The hospitals have witnessed a facelift with modern facilities and structures, wards endowed with new electrical beds, well equipped theatres to manage all kinds of surgeries, fully stocked pharmacies, and a handful of trained nurses and doctors.
Etinan General Hospital has recorded an exceptional testimony, for a center that had virtually been abandoned to rodents and reptiles for over ten years. During a visit recently by some media professionals, the medical superintendent at the General Hospital, Etinan, Dr. Eshiet Ime thanked the governor for raising the standard of the hospital with modern facilities and technology to harness the work force, saying that it’s clear departure to the recent past when the place was a complete eyesore. This explains why the hospital will play host to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, during the 30th anniversary of statehood. Incidentally, the Vice President’s visit will also see the opening of the largest syringe and hospital consumable manufacturing factory in the state, the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company.
In addition to the equipment and facilities, the governor has ensured that the hospital does not run short of qualified and experienced personnel to increase the manpower of the hospital, while the pharmacist, Ekwere Robert Usoro, praised the government for the availability of drugs in the hospital as they do no longer run out of stock.
The new version of Etinan General Hospital consists of various departments to help smoothen its daily activities. The consultant, Dr Ikanke Mathias commended the efforts of the government for uplifting the face of the hospital, saying that the development has made his work easier. The matrons expressed happiness, saying that the intervention of Government has made their patients comfortable and provided hygienic environment for their quick recovery.
In the maternal wards, breast-feeding mothers lauded the governor for keeping to his promises to ensure free qualitative for them and their new born babies. It was an outpour of emotions for the patients as the commended the Governor Udom Emmanuel for being a people oriented governor, stating that the hospital has saved their lives, and they do not have to travel elsewhere for treatment, as the necessary equipment and drugs are available for them.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has repeatedly noted that the development at the General hospital Etinan is just a tip off the iceberg as proper measures were being taken to rehabilitate all secondary health centres across the state. The Governor has equally commenced an emergency medical response training programme organised for Medical Doctors in the state.
At the General Hospital Ituk Mbang, Governor Emmanuel said the facility when fully rehabilitated, will take care of gynecology, pediatrics, emergency health care and other general medical services.
The governor assured that the equipment that are being brought in, are of best quality and world standards; he expressed readiness to partner with international agencies to provide quality healthcare services in accordance with international best practices and affordable Medicare to the people.
The Medical Superintendent of the Modern General Hospital, Ituk Mbang, Dr. Ekpenyong Ekpenyong while expressing appreciation to the Governor for the intervention in the hospital, noted that he is the first Governor that has visited the hospital in the last 23 years, since Col. Yakubu Bako last visited on May 6, 1994. Since that visit earlier this year, Governor Emmanuel has marched words with action with the ongoing rehabilitation at the center.
Governor Emmanuel’s people-oriented government is people centered and believes that the people are the center of development. It is then not surprising to note that the free medical services are available to children, pregnant mothers, and the aged, in the face of biting economic times in the country. Mr. Emmanuel’s giant leap in healthcare delivery is a bold step towards fulfilling one of the cardinal points of five-point agenda, which is wealth creation. It could then be said that wealth creation is also being addressed through this huge investments in healthcare delivery, after all, a healthy population is a wealthy population, and health, they say, is wealth.
Essien Ndueso a journalist writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State