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Akwa Ibom hospital becomes first to perform full cardiac pacemaker implant



Akwa Ibom

The Akwa Ibom State Government announced a significant advancement in healthcare delivery on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, particularly in the fields of cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, when a group of medical professionals completed the first full implantation of a transvenous cardiac pacemaker on two patients.

The historic operation was performed using the cutting-edge medical equipment placed at the recently renovated Awa General Hospital in Onna Council.

The achievement—the first of its kind in the hospital—was made possible by the combined efforts of medical experts from state-owned government hospitals, including Prof. Eyo Ekpe and Dr. Ezekiel Ogunleye of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and Prof. Eyo Ekpe and Dr. Ezekiel Ogunleye of Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

At the review of the operations held at the Conference Room of the hospital, where the two procedures carried out in the newly remodelled theatre were beamed to journalists, medical officers, observers, and the patient’s family members, through a giant size television screen.

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Prof. Ekpe, who was the leader of the medical team, said they carried out the procedures using the 21st-century medical approach, aided by an advanced medical imagery device, called the C-Arm machine.
He said: “This hospital has a fully functional state-of-the-art theatre, so when we were told we were going to carry out a cardiac pacemaker insertion in this hospital, I knew we were in the right place for such a procedure.

“Coincidentally, the two patients are females, who suffered blockage in their hearts, but thanks to God Almighty and Governor Udom Emmanuel, who made this possible. I know that this is the first of these kinds of sessions of treatments that would be done in this hospital and in many other hospitals in the state.”

On his part, Dr Ogunleye of Lagos State Teaching Hospital said: “There are some States in Nigeria that don’t have C-Arm machines in any of their hospitals. So, for the Akwa Ibom State Government to have bought these machines, they deserve commendations.

“Doctors are not magicians. It is the equipment that you provide them with that they will work with. So, when we see one like this, especially from a government hospital providing the best equipment, we should encourage them to do more, and then other states will copy them.”

Also Speaking, Dr Catherine Eyo of the Department of Anesthesia, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, said she was excited about the fact that such complicated medical procedures could be achieved successfully in the state, without having to send the patients for treatment abroad.

“I am proud of my identity as a citizen of the state. I want to appreciate the governor for what he has done for the state. The equipment I saw in the theatre today is the best. I know there are many more of this type of cases out there, and when they know that cases of this nature can be treated here, they will come to draw the benefits of this hospital,” she said.

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Meanwhile, Dr Ekem John, a member of the medical team, has said the renaissance in infrastructure and medical personnel witnessed in Akwa Ibom State, was as a result of the priority accorded the sector by Emmanuel, through his Completion Agenda.

“If you go around healthcare facilities in the state, you will notice that the Governor’s vision for quality healthcare delivery is being translated into visible reality, and with this kind of breakthrough, the state will soon become a destination for medical tourism in Nigeria,” he said.

This development, according to experts, will reinforce public confidence in the health sector of the state.

At the time of filing this report, the two females operated upon were still recuperating at the General Hospital, pending their discharge by the medical team, to reunite with their families and continue with their normal life.

The cost of these pilot cardiac pacemaker procedures was borne by the Akwa Ibom State Government.



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Wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor Launches GIFA Project to Enhance Lives




Pastor Patience Umo Eno, the wife of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, has unveiled the Golden Initiative For All (GIFA), a pet project aimed at improving the lives of various segments of society.

At the launch event held at Ibom Hall in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the First Lady outlined eight thematic areas of focus for GIFA, including maternal and child healthcare, literacy and learning, environmental health, women empowerment, disease prevention, care for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and gender-based violence prevention and response.

Expressing her vision for GIFA, Pastor Patience Umo Eno emphasized the project’s commitment to creating a society characterized by happy, healthy, educated, successful, and sustainable families. She extended her gratitude to individuals and organizations that have partnered with GIFA and called for further support from relevant bodies to advance the project’s objectives.

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, praised his wife’s humanitarian efforts and described GIFA as a platform that would extend her blessings to a broader spectrum of people and families. He commended her dedication and compassion, expressing confidence that GIFA would leave a lasting impact on countless lives.

Dr. Uduakobong Inam, the Economic Adviser to the Governor, highlighted GIFA as a sustainability platform designed to foster human and capacity development in the state. He reiterated the project’s goal of enhancing the well-being of families and individuals through life-transforming programs.

Several dignitaries, including the wives of past and present governors from various states, lauded Pastor Patience Umo Eno’s vision and commitment to improving the lives of Akwa Ibom residents through GIFA. They commended the project’s alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its contribution to creating a more equitable society.

The event, attended by government officials, industry leaders, donor agencies, and other stakeholders, witnessed generous donations towards supporting the GIFA project’s initiatives.

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World Leprosy Day: Akwa Ibom State Government Pledges Support for Leprosy Patients




As the world observed the 2024 World Leprosy Day, the Akwa Ibom State Government condemned the stigmatization of leprosy patients and reiterated its commitment to increasing support for the leprosy hospital in the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong, delivered this message over the weekend during the celebration held at Qua Iboe Church Leprosy Hospital Chapel in Ekpene Obom, Etinan Council.

Ememobong, speaking as the Special Guest of Honour, emphasized that issues concerning leprosy patients and the hospital facility are taken seriously by the state government, affirming that these individuals should never be marginalized or neglected. He commended the theme of this year’s celebration, “End Stigma, Embrace Dignity,” stressing that leprosy patients deserve love, care, and respect as fellow creations of God.

Represented by the Director of Public Relations in the Ministry, Mrs. Grace Akpan, Ememobong reiterated his passion for supporting leprosy patients, highlighting previous empowerment efforts and presenting a purse towards the welfare of the inmates during the event. He expressed gratitude to the Management and Board of Qua Iboe Church Leprosy Hospital, Ekpene Obom, and urged public-spirited individuals to contribute to the facility’s growth and the well-being of its inmates.

The Chief Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr. Charles Ekanem, and the hospital’s board Chairman, Dr. Okon J. Emah, outlined the facility’s challenges, including poor security, inadequate funds, and a lack of partnerships with relevant agencies. They called for generous donations to address these issues and improve inmate welfare.

Transition Caretaker Committee Chairman of Etinan Local Government Area, Uko Umoh, pledged to address the hospital’s security challenges and donated generously towards its growth. Other dignitaries, including the member representing Etinan in the State House of Assembly and the SA to the Governor on People Living with Disabilities, also made goodwill messages and donations.

The event, featuring drama sketches by inmates of the Leprosy Hospital, was attended by representatives of Qua Iboe Church National Conference, NGOs, and local community leaders, underscoring the importance of collective efforts to support and uplift leprosy patients in Akwa Ibom State.

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BRACED Commission: South-South Governors Converge in Edo State to Foster Regional Integration, Economic Cooperation




Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State is set to host the governors of the South-south States, including Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, and Delta, on Thursday, January 18, 2024.

The meeting, organized under the auspices of the BRACED Commission, aims to enhance economic cooperation and regional integration among the South-south States.

The BRACED Commission, established in 2010, focuses on promoting collective economic development, knowledge sharing, and peer review mechanisms.

Governor Obaseki, as the chairman of the BRACED Commission Governors’ Council, will lead discussions on reviving and strengthening the commission for the benefit of the region. The meeting will address critical issues, including regional security and the pursuit of common economic goals, with a communique expected at its conclusion.

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