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HomeEditorialOpinionDR ANIEKEME UWAH: MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 100 DAYS

DR ANIEKEME UWAH: MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 100 DAYS

By Ekemini BASSEY

Since assuming office as Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, AKS branch on Saturday July 30, 2016, Dr Aniekeme Aniefiok Uwah has strived to change the face of the association to meet the yearnings and aspirations of its members as well as enhance qualitative health care delivery for the people. His emergence was seen as a turning point of the association as Dr Uwah’s main objective was to contribute his quota to help NMA achieve its corporate goal through hard work, dedication and selflessness. Dr Uwah’s strategy in achieving these set goals includes making strong commitment towards team work and adhering strictly to the ethics of his profession, creating innovative leadership style and abiding by the NMA constitution.
Not given to grandstanding, Dr Aniekeme Uwah while making an inaugural speech at his swearing-in, referred to Psalm 90:12; emphasizing that he had just 721 days to be in office and was totally committed to making every day count. He revealed a three point agenda for his administration based on three E’s namely: Expansion of the revenue base of NMA, Enhancement of corporate image/visibility and Enhancement of members’ welfare.
As he clocks 100days in office today, it is pertinent to highlight some of his laudable achievements based on these cardinal points known as the 3 Es .
1. E- EXPANSION OF THE NMA REVENUE BASE.
– Dr Aniekeme uwah has been able to steer the NMA ship away from dependence on dues and government. This was glaringly evident during the just concluded Physicians’ Week where numerous corporate organizations, NGOs and institutions partnered with the NMA .
– Within his first 30 days in office, Dr Uwah and Exco laid the foundation for the 1st Phase of a Doctors’ Mess. When finished, the complex will have auditorium for events, malls, offices, and rendezvous for doctors amongst other income generating facilities.
-The association has also raised funds through raffle draws during the Physicians week as well as production and sales of NMA-AKS branded ties, scarves and personal donations by members and friends of NMA.
2. E- ENHANCEMENT OF MEMBERS’ WELFARE.
The welfare of medical doctors in AKS is paramount to the Dr Aniekeme Uwah led administration. In this regard, Dr Uwah and members of his Exco have achieved the following in 100 days:
– Resolution of the issues and suspension of the strike by Resident Doctors in UUTH.
– Abolishing of fees for CME programmes.
– Introduction of free Continuing Medical Education (CMEs).
– Celebration of birthdays of members and presentation of gifts.
– Regular consultations with stakeholders.
– Production of Complimentary cards for all SEC members.
– Production of birthday cards.
– Production of a podium and rebranding of the conference Hall, NMA House,KM 8, Nwaniba Road, Uyo.
– Production of Suggestion boxes for distribution to hospitals.
– Donation of bed-sheets to the call rooms of General Hospital, Ikot- Ekpene.
-Induction of student members into NMA and presentation of free stethoscopes to inductees
– Purchase of a table tennis board and set for Doctors.
– Prompt issuance of welfare packages to members.
-Rewarding doctors and friends of NMA with i-phone 7, Plasma TV, Generator, Bags of rice during Physicians’ week
– Regular holding of meetings.
Emergency GeneralMeeting(EGM)- 6/8/16
State Executive Council(SEC) Meeting.-13/8/16
Ordinary General Meeting (OGM).- 14/8/16
Emergency State Executive Council Meet – 20/8/16
Inauguration of the State Executive Council-13/9/16
Emergency SEC Meeting.- 3/10/16
3. E- ENHANCED CORPORATE IMAGE/ VISIBILITY AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES (CSR).
To keep up to his desire of rebranding the NMA, Dr Uwah and exco embarked on the following:
– Development and launch of a website- www.akwaibomnma.org, a Facebook page and Instagram
– Launch of “OUR HEALTH, OUR WEALTH” initiative.
– Free medical outreaches in Ikot Ebo and Ikot Ayan, ikono uyo LGA ; where over free 21 surgeries were done and eye glasses given out free of charge.
– creation of Doctors Volunteer Scheme(DVS) where doctors will volunteer to give free medical services at least 3 hours weekly especially in rural communities.
– Launch of the Maiden Edition of a quarterly magazine DOCTOR ON CALL to document NMA activities.
-30 minutes weekly health programme on inspiration Fm as well as other sensitization programmes on mass media.
-creating interpersonal relations with other associations for networking as showcased in the novelty match between NMA & NBA on October 30, 2016.
In the last 100days, the association has consulted widely to ensure better healthcare delivery by paying courtesy call on Speaker and members of AKHA, Chairman Uyo Local Government council and other stakeholders where very strong advocacy was made for the establishment of the following;
-A State Health Insurance Scheme
-A State Primary Health Care Development Agency
– A State Health Care Waste Management Agency
-Ban on hawking of herbal preparations
– Paternity leave for fathers
-Implementation of national health bill and
– Demand for establishment of General hospital in Uyo LGA.
Many are left in awe as to how Dr Aniekeme Uwah has achieved so much just in a hundred days. While some believe he has a Midas Touch, a lot more argue that he must be a genius. However, he a sneak peek into his background reveals that Dr Uwah is a man of great focus, discipline and determination to succeed. Born on June 24, 1976 in Calabar, Aniekeme Aniefiok Uwah’s journey to greatness began when he made 7 distinctions in SSCE in 1994 at federal government college, Ikot- Ekpene LGA. He then proceeded to university of Calabar, Cross River State; where he obtained an MBBS in medicine and surgery in 2004 becoming the first medical doctor in his village, Atan Offot. As a golden fish that cannot be hidden, Dr Uwah won national honours in Benue State during his service year in 2006. Between Dec 18, 2014 –May 15, 2015, Dr Aniekeme Uwah was among the very few doctors worldwide who volunteered to help the African Union fight dreaded Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
Prior to that heroic feat, Dr Uwah had vast experiences working at University of Uyo teaching hospital as house officer from 2004-2005. While in Benue State, he was at Benue State University medical centre, Makurdi – 2005-2006. He also served at city hospital, Makurdi, Benue State in 2006 .
He returned home to join Government General Hospital, Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State from 2006- 2011. And St Luke’s Hospital Anua, Uyo in 2011.
Currently, Dr Uwah works with the Ministry of Health, Akwa Ibom State as the state epidemiologist.
Another feather was recently added to his cap when he emerged Chairman South South caucus of the NMA in Enugu NEC meeting. Dr Aniekeme Uwah is humble enough to tap from the wisdom of the elders as past NMA chairmen usually grace all NMA events. Of note was a two day working visit of the past National president of NMA and Vice President Common Wealth Medical Association, Dr Osahon Enabulele in Dr Uwah’s first 30 days in office.
It is worthy to remember that preparatory for todays task, Dr Uwah was the chairman, National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) Aks branch from 2014-2016.
For several years he was in the medical team to pilgrimage in Jerusalem and also member, medical committee, Godswill /Nsima 2011 campaign organisation and member, medical committee, Udom/Moses 2015 campaign organisation.
In 2011 he had aspired to represent Uyo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House Of Assembly. There he learnt leadership lessons in macro politics.
Some of the awards Dr Uwah has won in recognition of his selflessness include:
*An award of excellence by the national association of uyo students,university of uyo chapter in recognition of outstanding leadership qualities and contribution to the development of uyo students -2008
*An award of excellence by uyo youth leadership forum in recognition of contribution to youth empowerment/community development -2012.
*A certificate of recognition by the government and people of Liberia in appreciation of his heroic humanitarian services rendered to people of Liberia in combating the ebola outbreak -2015
*An award of excellence by Christ the king intl. nursery school,Uyo in recognition of his philanthropic gestures and outstanding performances in the medical profession – 2016.
Dr Aniekeme Uwah is married to senior state counsel, Barr Aver Ishoribo-Uwah and the union is blessed with 3 lovely daughters. His hobbies include intellectual engagement and discourse, chess, scrabble ,travelling and writing. He is the author of ‘ health 4 humanity’, a health column in a local tabloid, Newslink and other publications.
His motivation and inspiration are drawn from the words of Stephen Grellett, who said “i expect to pass through this world but once, any good therefore i can do, or any kindness i can show to a fellow creature, let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it, for i shall not pass this way again.”
Dr Aniekeme Uwah’s record of performance in 100 days is exemplary and unparalleled. One can only imagine the height he will take AK NMA to in the remaining 621 days.
Bassey, a broadcaster & media strategist, writes from Uyo.

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