Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has said that the health of the citizens of a nation is key to the development and national security of the country.
Jonathan said this during the inauguration of the first phase of the renovation of the 117 years old General Hospital in Ikot Ekpene on Tuesday.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic that is still ravaging the world has opened the eyes of leaders, professionals, politicians and all administrators to put the health of citizens in the first line charge.
The former President commended the the Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for renovating the hospital and putting it to use for effective healthcare delivery.
“We commend the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, because health is key, when you are talking about national security, the health security is quite prominent.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of everybody, be you professionals, politicians, administrators, that the health of the nation is key and we have to do everything possible to strengthen the infrastructure to deliver the health needs.
“Based on United Nations provisions, health is a human right issue. We thank the governor for providing these facilities,” Jonathan said.
Earlier in his remarks, Gov. Emmanuel, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, said the inauguration of the General Hospital was a fulfilment of his campaign promises.
Emmanuel said that the state government has committed enough resources to the development of health infrastructure in the state to improve on the health of its citizens.
He said that his administration has change the narrative of development in the state from a civil service state to an industrial haven.
“The inauguration of this General Hospital is a fulfilment of a campaign promise I made, to establish world class secondary healthcare facilities in all the 10 Federal Constituencies in the State.
“With today’s event, we have completed and inaugurated to the glory of God, all but one, in Ikot Abasi, whose work is on-going.
“We have been able to change the trajectory of our development through massive investments in infrastructure as a way of creating the enabling environment for industrialisation and the attendant attraction of foreign direct investments to our State,” Emmanuel added.
In his opening remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, said the the renovated hospital would serve as a reference centre for the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district.
Umoh added that the hospital was well equipped with qualified health personnel with 30 Medical Doctors to take care of patients’ needs.
He said that the hospital has also been repositioned to be a training ground for young medical doctors in the state.