The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has commended Akwa Ibom State government for investing in the health sector, which has translated to building institutional capacity to address healthcare needs of the citizenry as well as an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commendation came from Director-General, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who was in the state alongside officials of World Health Organisation (WHO) on a working tour of medical facilities and assessment of the state government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ihekweazu, who described his visit to the state as an eye opening experience, and a surprise at the state-of-the-art facilities provided at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), said: “This is actually a joint mission with the WHO. Coming to Akwa Ibom today has really been such an eye opening experience both at Ibom Specialist Hospital and this EOC that will be opened on June 23. We are jointly pleasantly surprised at the opportunity this has presented to the country. This will probably be the best EOC in the whole country by the time it’s fully operational.”
He said that the facilities available and quality of personnel had given the team a good impression on the healthcare services enjoyed by the people of the state and gave assurance that the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 will work towards deepening collaboration with the state as regards healthcare delivery.
Also, the officer in charge of WHO in Nigeria, Dr. Fiona Braka, said that WHO team was happy to be part of the visit, which she described as enlightening.She lauded Akwa Ibom State Government for investing in healthcare not just as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also to boost institutional capacity in healthcare delivery.
She said: “It’s been very enlightening going around to see the isolation facilities and the capacities that are there, the lab capacity and how the state has used the opportunity of the COVID-19 response to build institutional capacity, not just for responding to this outbreak but thinking beyond.”
Speaking on behalf of the state government, the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, Akwa Ibom State COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, expressed the gratitude of the government and people of Akwa Ibom State to the NCDC and WHO team for the visit to the state and for painstakingly going round to appreciate the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration in the state.
Ekuwem said that the state governor had always given priority attention to the health of the citizens and remains committed to ensuring a healthy state. He expressed satisfaction over the state-of-the-art facilities and quality of personnel available in the state and assured that the Federal Government and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 would be pleased to deepen collaboration with the state.