• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Eno approves recruitment of additional health workers

A note to Mr. Umo Eno
Governor  Umo Eno has approved the recruitment of 200 health workers to complement ongoing government intervention in the primary healthcare sector in Akwa Ibom State.
Eno approved Ikot Nkwo where he commissioned the newly built model Primary Health Centre initiated by his administration in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
According to the governor, the approval for the recruitment of fresh 200 health personnel is in addition to the announcement of health workers’ recruitment he made during the 2024 Workers’ Day celebration in the state.
Eno further disclosed that the construction of other Model Primary Health Centres was ongoing simultaneously in 12 LGAs of the state.
The governor assured all qualified would-be applicants of a transparent, fair and merit-based recruitment process that would help in meeting the healthcare demands of the newly built primary health centres.
According to him, “The Commissioner for Health has whispered to me that outside the 200 I approved for the general hospital, the primary health care needs some more. So as they are opening up, they need to be properly staffed. So for the primary health centre, I am approving the recruitment of 200 additional health workers.
“The interview process will be extremely transparent. We are going to use computer-based exam. I am going to get a consultant that will set the exams; the people will come, sit for the exams, get their results right there. And if you pass, we take you. The employment will not be on any form of quota. We want to employ the best for our health care system and even our educational system,” he said.
Recalling the situation that necessitated the project, the Governor commended the gesture of the Ikot Nkwo community for giving up their community centre as a make-shift accommodation for the health centre and for providing land for the new health centre project without conditions or demands.
He therefore directed the Commissioner for Lands to make available the sum of N50 million for the community as compensation for the land and ensure due diligence in ensuring that all former holders within the land used for the project have a fair share of the funds.
The Governor also revealed the readiness of the state government to pay extra allowances as an incentive to doctors and nurses working in primary healthcare facilities in rural areas and directed the Commissioner for Internal Security to liaise with the village leadership and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ibesikpo- Asutan Division to provide adequate security for the personnel and equipment in the facility.
“What we are witnessing here today is a great move to bring primary health care closer to the people in line with our ARISE Agenda, with emphasis on rural development.
“A few weeks into this administration, I paid a visit to what had, for decades, been a health centre that took care of the needs of this community. I was shocked and touched by how the place was.
“But I was also impressed that the community was kind enough to give out their community hall to be used as a health post. I was impressed by how well the records of patients and procedures were kept by the Matron. We requested land from the community, and I want to thank the village Head and all members of his community.
“They donated land to the Government that same day. They never asked for any compensation, they just gave that land. That showed me that this is a community that needs development.
“We are prepared to work with communities that appreciate investment, and what Government is doing for them. Because they gave this land and did not ask for anything, we feel we should not just take your land, but give you water to drink. So, we are giving you money, and we trust that your village council and your leaders will sit down and ensure that everyone that had a land here will get something,” he added.
The Governor expressed delight over the contractor’s gesture of voluntarily building stalls for traders in the Ikot Nkwo community market in a demonstration of its corporate social responsibility and urged other companies doing business in the state to follow suit.
He said modalities would be put in place to ensure adequate maintenance of the facility as well as other government facilities and then announced the appointment of Elder Udo Sam Umoatan as pioneer Chairman of the State Assets Management and Maintenance Agency.
He revealed that his government’s vision is to adopt a bottom-up approach to development where the rural areas are a priority.
In an overview of the facility, the Commissioner for Health, Augustine Umoh said the facility is unique, especially for its solar power supply, which according to him will enhance steady power in the health center.
According to him, the Model Health Centre has Consulting Rooms, a Theatre, Wards, Doctors, Matrons & Nurses Quarters, a Laboratory, an ICT & Records Unit, a Modern Kitchen, a Dining Room,  Solar Powered Energy, a Standby Generator as well as 214 Medical Equipment and consumables.
In her remark, the Transition Committee Chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan, Akon Michael expressed delight at the facility saying it was like a dream for the people of the area.
Similarly, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Nsikan Linus Nkan who led other stakeholders in the area, appreciated the Governor and assured that they will continue to support him even beyond 2027.
Also Speaking, the Village Head of Ikot Nkwo, Ette Idung Nsidibe Etuk as well as the Paramount Ruler of Ibesikpo Asutan, Edidem Clement Ekpenyong appreciated the Governor and prayed that God will continue to guide and guard him and grant him more wisdom to fully actualize the ARISE Agenda.
On his part, the State Chairman of Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Martin Akpan commended the Governor for his proactive and pragmatic leadership style which he said has made the facility possible. He assured me that his agency would protect and make it functional.
The high point of the occasion was the handing over of the facility to the Commissioner for Health, the Chairman and Secretary of the Primary Health Care Development Agency by  Governor Umo Eno with an appeal that it should be maximally utilized.