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Boosting accessible, affordable, quality healthcare services in Akwa Ibom

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safi Renewable Energy Limited, Mr. Yinka Ogundare (left); Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem; Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Essiet; and Chairman, Hospital Management Board, Dr. David Udoumoh, at the handing over medical equipment worth over N125 million to the State Government in Uyo PHOTO: INEMESIT AKPAN-NSOH<br />

•CFM, SAFI donate medical equipment worth N125m to AKSG
In support of its commitment to providing quality healthcare services to Nigerians, a European Fund investor in Nigeria, Climate Fund Managers (CFM), in partnership with Safi Renewable Energy Limited, has donated medical equipment and disposables worth $250,000 (N125, 000,000) to Akwa Ibom State Government.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safi Renewable Energy Limited, Mr. Yinka Ogundare, at the handing over event which took place at Methodist General Hospital/Isolation Centre, Ituk Mbang and Multi-Specialty Hospital, Uyo, said as part of his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Akwa Ibom has become one of the first states in the country to benefit from their project. “COVID-19 has affected us terribly worldwide and in line with our partners, climate fund managers, which is Europeans fund investors in Nigeria, we decided to target certain places where we could make this sort of equipment donation and Akwa Ibom was top on the list and in fact the first state in Nigeria that we are doing this. Akwa Ibom engaged very early with us when we started through the executive governor of the State who selected people quickly from his cabinet that responded to us and they showed the seriousness that allowed us to engage with them,” Ogundare said. He commended the state government for being a model in health care delivery as shown in the management of COVID-19, and promised continuous support for more feats in the sector.

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At the handing over ceremony which was witnessed by government officials, community leaders, health officials among others, Ogundare assured that the remaining mobile X-ray machine was on its way, explaining that the manufacturing company delayed it because they were affected by COVID-19 pandemic and that the equipment and others would be received and installed before the end of this month.

Speaking on behalf of the state government, the Secretary to the state government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who is also the chairman of the State COVID-19 task force stated that the attraction and receipt of the donation of the high-valued medical equipment was in line with the infrastructure and human capacity development elements of the eight-point key focus agenda of the present state administration.

He thanked the donors and promised that the state would make good use of the donated items for the service of and benefit of the people of the state.

“As you said, Akwa Ibom State was on top of the list, we are thankful and grateful. About a year ago the governor commissioned the 300 bed space isolation centre and the completion of that isolation centre was done on time, which was just within a month and we were able to beat the Chinese record.

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“The isolation centre was well furnished, automated and well equipped. When you said Akwa Ibom State was first on the list, how come all the ventilators, the equipment that we used during COVID-19 were already imported by the Governor long before COVID-19? That does not mean that he was expecting COVID-19 but because it is in his character to ensure that he creates wealth through healthcare delivery. There are about 10 -12 remodeled general hospitals in the state. In the month of May, when we were doing Democracy Day, a philanthropic organisation donated N5 billion to help us establish Akwa Ibom State University Teaching Hospital.

The groundbreaking was done after the Democracy Day by the government. So, SAFI also keyed into that vision and support for his Excellency the governor. It takes good leadership, commitment and selflessness from companies like SAFI to see the transparency, accountability and a sense of commitment from the governor to the development of the people.

“Very soon as part of Akwa Smart, where all the remodel of hospitals and primary health care agencies will be networked into a comprehensive telemedicine network, so that if we have experts here in Ituk Mbang, they can put at the disposal of the needy patient to provide preliminary consultation to the medical team on ground and also link up with famous hospitals all over the world.”

Ekuwem thanked the donors for partnering the State government in the area of healthcare development and assured that the equipment donated would be judiciously utilised for the benefit of the society.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health Prof. Augustine Umoh, said the equipment selection was done in consultation with the State Ministry of Health, adding that the state has received what they really needed.

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“The state now have easily deployable specialised equipment for the care of patients with life threatening illnesses that are critical or contagious as these patients will have access to advanced medical resources and equipment in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/ Isolation Unit in the state,” he said.

Goodwill messages were received from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Essiet; Chairman, Hospital Management Board, Dr. David Udoumoh; and Administrator, Methodist Hospital Ituk Mbang, Dr. Mary Udo, among others.

Highlight of the ceremony was the donation of 24 items of various quantities. The procured items are European Union (EU) certified equipment supplied from major manufacturers including GE Healthcare, Siemens and Zoll Medical etc., which are vital to critical care and for COVID clinical management and support. In addition, were some equipment items essential to infant care such as the infant incubator and radiant warmer. The equipment package also has in addition to Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and consumables, critical care equipment like anaesthetic machine, ventilator, defibrillator, spine board, patient monitor, suction unit, crash cart, oxygen therapy units with oximetres, infusion and syringe pumps amongst others. Also, included are diagnostic equipment like hematocrit centrifuge for determining blood Packed Cell Volume (PCV) and a Point of Care (POC), Arterial Blood Gas Analyser (ABGA) for determining amounts of blood gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide and digital mobile X-ray for determining chest infection and fractures on the go.

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