From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State government has extended invitation to the private sector to contribute positively to the healthcare delivery system in the state, particularly in the area of stroke-related ailments and sudden death syndrome.
Governor Udom Emmanuel made the appeal while declaring open a two-day workshop on stroke and sudden death organised by Medical Elders Group in the state at the Le-Meridian Hotel and Golf Resort.
The governor assured that the quaternary medical centre established in the state will soon be put to use to boost medical tourism to the state.
He announced that government was making effort to facilitate the arrival of medical expatriate to manage the medical centre and provide first-class health services.
He pledged his administration’s commitment to making healthcare services accessible and affordable to the people of the state.
He said: “This government has risen to its responsibility of ensuring that every Akwa Ibom person has access to quality health care delivery.
“By this very initiative, the Medical Elders Group has keyed into government’s vision in health care delivery, which is to establish superior performance in the health sector of the state and improve the health condition of the people.”
The governor said as part of the laudable programmes of his administration in the health sector, emergency centres will be established in all the local government areas and equipped with ambulances to provide healthcare services as rapid response mechanism to health challenges and forestall loss of life.
He described the workshop as timely, stating that stroke and sudden death have assumed alarming proportion globally and sued for such programmes and campaigns to check the trend.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, observed that the incidence of sudden death was on the increase in the global community and that undeniable evidence point to the fact that stroke ranked the third killer among the 20 causes of death identified by World Health Organization and that Nigeria recorded more 160,000 stroke cases annually.
He pointed out and that the ailment, which is a recognized medical condition due to high blood pressure affects everyone from 19 years of age irrespective of sex, race, geographical location and creed.
He said people with family history of hypertension and diabetes were prone to developing the ailment, saying the increasing craze for junk food, unregulated life styles commonly put up as a show of sophistication were other factors responsible for the development of the ailment.
Dr. Ukpong listed healthily dietary practices, reduced salt intake, simple lifestyle, routine exercise and routine blood pressure check as measures of controlling the development of stroke.
He thanked the governor for the steps taken to reposition the health sector and for sponsoring the seminar and commended the Medical Elders Group of creating a platform to enlighten the public on sensitive health issues, and wished the participant a rewarding session.
President, Medical Elders Group, D. E. J Esenowo, who set the tone for the workshop said the group comprised medical doctors who have put in more than 20 years in the medical practice and that the group meet on regular basis to brainstorm on health practices by organizing seminars to sensitize people on health-related issues.
He thanked the state government for repositioning the health sector by making the health institutions provide quality health care services to the people.
From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo