By Osondu Ahirika
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has been given a pat on the back by the World Health Organization, WHO, and the State Incident Management Committee, IMC, for the way and manner he responded since the state recorded the first index case of Covid-19 pandemic.
The two groups thanked the state Chief Executive for demonstrating competence and leadership skills during an interaction with newsmen after inspecting the 300 bed Isolation Centre at Ituk Mbang which will soon be inaugurated by the governor.
The State Coordinator of the WHO, Dr Sylvester Agwai, who described the Isolation Centre as, a well thought out Nigerian Miracle said, the incredible achievement will reposition Akwa Ibom State in the management of infectious diseases in the comity of States.
Dr Agwai said the WHO is very satisfied with the proactive steps implemented by Governor Emmanuel to combat the pandemic and pledged the full support of the organization for the enabling structures, put in place by the state, to achieve success in the COVID-19 fight.
On his part, the Deputy Chairman, of the Incident Management Committee, Dr Godfrey Akro, described the Governor as a man with a sense of direction and mission, who has left an enduring legacy to boost the Health Sector.
Describing the Isolation Centre as ‘Nigeria’s Miracle’, Dr Akro said, not many people initially believed the governor took a rational step in embarking on the project, but the amazing achievement and completion of the sprawling complex, in so short a time, has silenced critics.
Dr Akro also commended the Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen, who he observed, is smart, has a penchant for details, and never rests until his set goals are accomplished. He said Akwa Ibom State is blessed to have the facility as an added value to the healthcare delivery sector.
Earlier, the Akwa Ibom State Hospital Management Board, which also inspected the facility, described the edifice as the latest ‘8th Wonder of the World.
Chairman Hospital Management Board,
Dr Unyime David Udo-Umo who led the team stressed that, the Isolation Centre
Is not only impressive and phenomenal, but also an incredible masterpiece of work done by Governor Emmanuel.
Dr Udo-Umo commended the governor for the courage to initiate and implement the project, explaining that, though the COVID-19 numbers in the State is very low, we’re not out of the woods, yet.
He argued that Akwa Ibom can be threatened by contiguous States, which may have high cases or outbreaks in future, so the Isolation Centre becomes a buffer to protect the populace.
Dr Udo-Umo further added that, the facility can also serve as an Isolation Centre for the nation, as it responds to other equally deadly diseases such as MERS, SARS and Lassa Fever. He expressed optimism that with a level 3 virology Laboratory, Akwa Ibom State will find the asset to be very important going forward.
The Permanent Secretary of the State Hospital Management Board, Mrs Stella Etokakpan, applauded the governor for the masdive project, noting that, it was on the 4th of April, that he directed that the Isolation Centre be constructed.
Mrs Etokakpan sais the facility is furnished with state of the art medical equipment and is the latest proof that, the State Government is not joking with the welfare of the people.
The Works Commissioner who conducted the teams around thanked Governor Emmanuel for the confidence reposed in him and his team to supervise the project.
Mr Inyangeyen thanked the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong for effective collaboration to ensure the timely completion of the project and pledged readiness to work with the various groups to actualize the governor’s vision for the state.