A coalition of health professionals including medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses , physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientists etc christened “Healthcare Alliance for Umo Eno”, has been inaugurated in the state.
The groups’ aim is to mobilize support for the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The group, also called HEAL for Umo Eno, also plans to embark on free medical outreaches across the 10 federal constituencies of the state in the coming days.
Speaking at the inauguration in Uyo, the PDP governorship candidate, Pastor Umo Eno, described the revitalization of the Akwa Ibom State Primary Health Care System and the building of the Ibom Medical City as projects that are dear to his heart.
Stressing the giants strides attained by the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel in healthcare particularly in revamping secondary health care, he pledged the commitment of the Umo Eno/Akon Eyakenyi ticket to prioritizing primary healthcare and ensuring at least one fully functional primary health centre in every ward. He promised to make investment in Primary Health Care infrastructure, equipment and personnel.
According to the PDP governorship hopeful, his administration will establish an Ibom Medical City along the economic corridor between Itam and Ikot Ekpene which will provide world-class healthcare services, position the state as a destination for medical tourism, supply occupancy for the state-owned Four Points by Sheraton at Ikot Ekpene and maximise the potential of Ibom Specialist Hospital as a quaternary centre.
“These activities will create employment and boost the economy. The governorship hopeful vowed that he will bring these to reality if elected in 2023.
“There’ll also be a medical mall in the medical city, wellness and spas fusing our relaxing natural ambience with healthiness living, opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturing, original medical equipment assembly plant and wholesale distribution, an advanced diagnostic centre and private sector-led specialized centres for minimal access surgeries, IVF, cancer treatment centre, etc.”
He also highlighted other plans for the health sector to include setting up a senior citizens health welfare scheme, state health insurance scheme, reorganization of the free maternal, newborn and child healthcare for delivery of greater benefits. When the State Health Insurance Scheme comes on board, it will bring to an end, the need for out-of-pocket expenditure to access healthcare for anyone living in Akwa Ibom State.
Addressing the healthcare professionals, the deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Moses Ekpo, applauded the initiator of the coalition and the entire team for entering into an evidence-based social contract with Pastor Umo Eno in a bid to encourage accountable leadership, urging other professional bodies to follow suit.
He also identified with the initiative for flagging-off of the series of free medical and surgical outreaches which is designed to be carried out in different heath facilities across the 10 federal constituencies of the state.
Healthcare Alliance for UMO ENO, otherwise called HEAL for Umo Eno, is a coalition of all the associations in the health sector in Akwa Ibom State.
Speaking earlier, the convener and chief innovation officer of the Healthcare Alliance for Umo Eno (HEAL 4 UMO ENO), Dr Ekem Emmanuel John, observed that the PDP governorship candidate is one candidate in the race to the hilltop mansion who has spoken extensively of his plans for the health sector, hence the support by the healthcare providers.
Dr John said the healthcare professionals were convinced that Umo Eno will improve on the gains of the Udom Emmanuel administration in the health sector.
In Dr. Ekem John’s words, “We’ve seen a governor who has been able to revamp infrastructure in the secondary health care system, so we discussed objectively and asked ourselves, who among the candidates will continue in this direction of investing in healthcare infrastructure especially considering that we need to go down to primary healthcare, we need specialist referral centres and improved welfare for healthcare workers among others. Again we asked, who among these candidates is speaking to an health agenda besides Pastor Umo Eno? Let’s be honest, have you heard anyone other than Umo Eno? Nobody.”
“This is the only man who wants to govern Akwa Ibom and understands that he cannot promise Akwa Ibom wealth without health; that he cannot promise to provide industries, without promising that the citizenry will be in good health to work in those industries, he cannot promise a productive economy without first guaranteeing a healthy population.” He assured PstUmo Eno and Senator Akon Eyakenyi that the group will stop at nothing to ensure their victory at the poll.
The body is set to flag-off the first in the series of the free medical and surgical outreaches by next week starting from Etinan Federal Constituency.