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Jonathan urges FG to accord priority to the health sector

Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has urged the federal government to give priority attention to the health sector, saying the outbreak of COVID-19 has been a big lesson to all.

Jonathan whose remarks were contained in a speech he made at the commissioning of a general hospital in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State said health and national security were interrelated in the sense that without health, national security could not be guaranteed.

The former president who lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for “completely redesigning the renovated hospital to give more attention to the health care delivery,” also praised the governor for paying attention to security issues considering the state of insecurity in the country.

“I commend the Governor for his efforts on security considering the state of insecurity in the country today, the Covid-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of people that health should not be taken for granted,” he said.

He urged the people to “continue to support Governor Udom Emmanuel and he will still do more before his tenure ends in about two years.”

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Earlier governor Udom Emmanuel in his speech said the commissioning of the hospital was in fulfilment of his promise “to establish, remodel or renovate secondary health facilities (General Hospitals) across the ten Federal Constituencies in my state. This has been achieved.

According to him, the state government “had previously commissioned those in Etinan, Eket, Awa, Iquita, Oron, Ikono, Ituk Mbang, and Ikot Okoro health facilities.

“Our proactive approach to healthcare delivery had seen us establish and equip the Intensive Care Unit at the Ibom Specialist Hospital, which became a saving grace when the Covid-19 first hit our shores and later the construction of the 300-Bed Infectious Disease Control Centre in Ituk Mbang, complete with a gas plant which is one of the largest in the nation.”

Udom who was represented by his deputy, Moses Ekpo assured that the state government would “continue to invest in this sector, we can reverse the rising tide of brain drain, medical tourism in Nigeria.”

Speaking also, Augustine Umoh, said the hospital has become a reference point in healthcare delivery adding that it would be used for the training of health personnel in the state.

Umoh commended the governor for his commitment towards revamping the health sector and restated the readiness to continue with the rehabilitation of more healthcare facilities in the state in addition to recruiting health professionals into the health sector.

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