BY: Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
An expert in Epidemiology in Akwa Ibom state, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah has restated his call for the establishment of a general hospital owned by the state government in Uyo the state capital.
Uwah who made the call during interaction with newsmen yesterday in Uyo said there were so many people in Uyo that need free Healthcare services, adding that the absence of a government-owned secondary health facility explained the influx at the teaching hospital.
His words, “I have continued to advocate that there is a need for a secondary health facility in Uyo. It cannot be overemphasized. Uyo is the most densely populated Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom.
“And we need such a facility for easy access to health services because most times especially when the government comes up with programmes the government will use such facilities to give out services. For instance when the government started the free Healthcare programme for children under five years, pregnant women.
“People in Uyo were not really feeling the impact. Because there were no government-owned health facilities in Uyo. Like in Ikot Ekpene where I worked, we were giving free services to people. Pregnant women come, get their antenatal drugs free, anti-malaria free the elderly get their drugs free.
“But in Uyo apart from St. Luke’s hospital which is owned by the church, you can’t really have such services. At the Uyo Teaching hospital, the crowd is something else because everybody wants to go there. So the health needs in Uyo are not really being met”
Uwah who was the past Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Akwa Ibom state branch noted that apart from that establishing a general hospital in Uyo would be greater avenue for people to be employed for residency and also do their horsemanship programmes.
He stressed that Uyo being the state capital deserves a secondary health facility owned by the government because the Residents also need to enjoy subsidized health services like residents in other major cities of Eket, Oron and Ikot Ekpene local government areas.
He however disclosed that arrangement was in place to establish Coordination Center for Disease Control soon in the to help to boost the surveillance and control of diseases especially outbreaks.
“The benefits derived from my relationship with the African Union and United Nations have been mainly in the areas of training. I have been able to attract support to the state mainly in the area of manpower development.
” Right now we are having a discussion with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control to also open up a Coordination centre here in Uyo. Very soon that would be concluded because we need to have a house centre here,” he said.