The fact that medical doctors in the employ of Akwa Ibom government are the highest paid by any state in Nigeria is no doubt a major factor in the success story of healthcare delivery in the state.
The global community has been challenged in the last few months. Around the world, medical personnel and facilities have been stretched beyond limits, owing to the new Coronavirus pandemic.
Since March 2020, when the pandemic reared its head in Nigeria, the deficiencies in the health sector have equally been brought to the fore, with uncontrollable outbreak in some parts of the country.
The COVID-19 situation in Akwa Ibom has however been different, largely because the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel, by reason of focus, vision and purposeful leadership, positioned the health sector of the state for a time like this.
Apart from Doctors in the employ of Akwa Ibom State government being the highest paid by any state government in Nigeria, Governor Udom Emmanuel had earlier approved the payment of the Consolidated Medical Salaries owed since 2014, and so today health workers in state are better of, and are thus motivated to serve better. The successes recorded in the COVID-I9 response and other areas of healthcare delivery in the state are products of this highly motivated workforce.
Apart from maintaining free healthcare for pregnant women, children under age five and the aged, Governor Emmanuel has embarked on the reconstruction and equipping of many secondary healthcare facilities across the state, bringing them to hitherto unimaginable high standards.
Other accomplishments include the upgrade of Ibom Specialist Hospital; procurement of 100 containers of various sophisticated medical equipment from the United States, out of which 36 have been received and the training of Biomedical Engineers for effective maintenance of hospital equipment in the state.
Significantly, the state government achieved the construction of a 300-bed space Isolation Centre at Ituk Mbang within a period of six weeks. The centre has been adjudged a wonder of the COVID-19 era in Nigeria. Additionally, the Polymerase Claim Reaction, PCR, Laboratory at the facility has just been approved as a test centre and rated as one of the best anywhere in the country by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
According to a cross section of medical experts in government employ in the state, these and many more testimonials, just in health sector alone, are clear pointers to the fact that truly Governor Udom Emmanuel cares.