German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck has expressed the commitment of his country to the realization of the establishment of Thompson and Grace Medical University in Akwa Ibom State.
He stated this at the weekend while performing the foundation stone laying ceremony of the medical city at Afaha Obong in Abak Local Government Area of the state.
The Ambassador, who was represented at the occasion by the Head of Cooperation, German Embassy in Abuja, Mr. Christopher Wenzel emphasized that, healthcare delivery is meant for every citizen of any nation as a basic right, and not for the privileged few, noting that, though Nigeria has achieved a lot in the area of malaria and polio, the medical university to be established in the state has received the full backing of the Germany
Mr. Schlagheck commended the vision of Dr. Isaac Amos for collaborating and partnering with Germany, United States of America and French medical experts to attract the university to Akwa Ibom state adding that, his country was committed to seeing to the realization of the institution in the next few years.
According to him, “we are here to honour the vision, passion and effort of Dr. Isaac Amos in the collaboration and to shade more light on an issue which is very important to Nigeria in healthcare.
‘‘It is common understanding internationally that, healthcare is not a privilege for the few but, a basic right for each and every citizen in any nation around the globe.
“There is a saying that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation, this is true and in Nigeria, a lot of things have been achieved with regards to malaria and polio eradication”.
He explained also that, the rationale behind siting the project in Akwa Ibom was the uniqueness of the people, and therefore charged the community and the people of the state not to appreciate the privilege, emphasizing that, ‘‘if we as Germans can help to make this light shine a bit brighter, we will be very happy.”
He appealed to all tiers of government in the country to support the vision of the promoter, Dr. Amos, by continuously providing an enabling environment for the vision to be realized.
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Thompson & Grace Group, Dr. Isaac Thompson Amos thanked the German government for being a great inspiration to the realization of the vision noting that, the establishment of the medical university in the country was not meant to compete with any group, but was an entirely private sector initiative that needs collaboration with government and other private organizations.
He emphasised that, the medical city is aimed at meeting the need for qualified healthcare professionals in Nigeria, and as a world class medical university capable of innovative research and development in Africa in general, to meet the need for affordable and accessible health services in the continent.
Dr. Amos however stated that, the community healthcare hospital would provide healthcare services to mitigate some of the health challenges facing communities in the state.
Governor Udom Emmanuel praised the initiator of the medical university, Dr. Amos and his team for the vision, saying that, the project was in tandem with the state government’s philosophy of building Private-Public-Partnership.
Udom, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo noted the tripartite arrangement that the initiator of the project has entered into, which according to him, was in line with the resolve of his administration to make the state a global destination to change the corporate existence of the state for good.
While assuring the management team of Thompson and Grace Medical University and its partners of government’s readiness to fully identify with them, he promised to provide a congenial environment for the success of the project.
According to the Governor, “In this direction, it is my expectation that when this medical university fully comes on stream it would go a long way to supplement our effort at the Ibom Specialist hospital in Uyo with the ultimate
aim of promoting medical tourism to Akwa Ibom state and saving our nation a loss of huge foreign exchange.
“I wish to assure the management team of Thompson & Grace Medical University and its partners that as a government we fully identify with this project and would continue to do what is required to provide convivial environment for the success of this great initiative”.
It would be recalled that, the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the Medical City was signed between the German government, the University of Hamburg and Thompson and Grace Group.