By Richard Peters
Stretching over a 240 square meter area at Ituk Mbang in Uruan LGA of Akwa Ibom state, is a magnificent architectural masterpiece which houses the Ultramodern Infectious Diseases Hospital, an irresistible structure reputed to accommodate the first state-owned molecular laboratory in Nigeria.
What is most amazing about the seemingly 8th Wonder of the World is that it took only 41 days to start the project from the scratch and completed with state of the art medical equipment and standard building with its attendant aesthetic quality.
The center which has been frequented by various stakeholders including officials from the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Members of Parliament, among others was initiated by Gov. Udom Emmanuel for the smooth management of the coronavirus pandemic in the state as he deliberately refused to go for a temporary structure which may be destroyed by wind.
And in obeisance to the instructions of the Governor, the Isolation Center is standing ready for use within record time.
One common attribute of Gov. Emmanuel that gets much deserved praise is the speedy implementation and delivery of projects as and when due, and this has earned him commendations from renowned institutions including the WHO.
Worthy of mention is the smart disposition of the Works Commissioner, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang and his team who have not only ensured that the project is completed in record time, but equally meets international standard as recommended by the WHO and NCDC.
To the amazement of many, Akparawa Inyang who has often been described as a digital works commissioner that has penchant for details, has followed up the project from the 4th of April when instruction was given for the construction of the Isolation Center till now that the facility is ready, crossing every ‘T’ and dotting every ‘I’ with clinical precision. In most of those days at work, he overworked himself and even passed some nights in his car at the project site. His effort is commended by Akwa Ibom people.
It might be surprising to learn that the breathtaking facility that is stunning in it’s complexity has a 300 bed space structured into four wards, with 75 beds in each, 20 en-suites Doctors’ Quarters, 26 Intercom lines in each ward and 4 Disinfection rooms for Doctors and Nurses.
Equally sitting high in the facility are Virology and Clinical laboratories, Canteen, 8 consulting offices, 4 changing rooms with 2 emergency exits.
The Center built with security consciousness is well fenced with 44 security cameras fitted strategically around the building, in addition to 20 fire hose stations. The facility also has 2 Ambulances and a laundry. This is indeed a well thought-out Nigeria’s Miracle, as described by Dr. Sylvester Agwai, the state Coordinator of the WHO.
It must not be forgotten in a hurry that the idea of the construction of the Center was seen as a colossal waste of resources by some people, while many doubted the possibility of delivery in time. But this has gone a long way in showing that governance is a function of responsibility, which has been a major characteristic of Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
Both the Governor and the Works Commissioner were abused and insulted, but the result of a completed Isolation Center has quieted the naysayers, as the Center will not only serve the interest of Akwa Ibom people, but Nigerians in general.
The facility which will be commissioned on May 29, 2020, has earned Gov. Udom Emmanuel another point in the Completion Agenda’s scorecard. This is another milestone in Gov. Emmanuel administration’s effort to critically tame the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the state and efficiently manage any other Infectious Diseases that may surface in the future.
We will defeat this common enemy as the state government is not allowing Akwa Ibom people to wander like sheep without a shepherd. This is equally seen in the selfless efforts of the health workers and other stakeholders who have contributed their quota in the fight against the pandemic. They deserve our commendations for standing at the forefront of the battle. Now that the well-equipped Isolation Center is ready for use, our collective victory is sure.