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By Ndifreke AKPAN

The State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Udom Emmanuel has given an approval for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Emergency Medical Service to cater for traumatic cases.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, who announced this to journalists recently, said the Emergency Medical Service will be working in collaboration with other emergency response outfits like the Fire Service and the Nigeria Police.

The Emergency Medical Service, which will be a standard international center at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital,  is to be accompanied with ambulances and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras mounted at strategic locations and connected to a Nerve Center built in Uyo for 24 hours monitoring of trauma cases for urgent medical care.

According to the Health Commissioner, the Nerve Center, after identifying a traumatic situation such as motor accident, drowning, fall from high and kerosene explosion among others will send signals to the quick response group, ambulance or team for immediate help.

Dr Ukpong noted that in Nigeria, including Akwa Ibom State, about fifty percent of the people involved in trauma die due to lack of immediate medical attention.

He further explained the workings of the envisaged medical service and stated that though it was expensive to establish, Governor Emmanuel has resolved to get it established in order to save lives.

Part of the programme involves the training of personnel on basic resuscitation measures before victims are moved to major health facilities for adequate medical attention.

The Emergency Medical Service, according to the Commissioner, is to purchase ambulances and set up models of the service in ten places at the initial stage.

Speaking on other health related issues, the Commissioner assured the people that the Ibom Specialists Hospital which has started skeletal services will soon be taken over by a new consortium that is expected to manage it up to the standard envisaged for the institution.

He told journalists that the State Government was undertaking the rehabilitation of Methodist Hospital, Ituk Mbang after which the General Hospital, Oron, will be attended to.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Victor Antai thanked the Governor for giving particular attention to the tourism sub sector in Akwa Ibom explaining that his Ministry is merely interpreting the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Mr. Antai, who was earlier commended by the Governor for his creative ingenuity in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said apart from the Arts Exhibition and Orange September, Ukapisua, which featured streets groove and the Ibeno beach fiesta, was just one of the programmes designed to make Akwa Ibom State a tourist’s destination.

The Commissioner spoke about the multiplier effects of the event, which he described as very successful, stating that it is pertinent to build upon it.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh had set the tone for the press briefing by saying that the last State Executive Council meeting for 2017 was necessary to review the performance of government in the outgoing year and begin to signpost some of the things expected in 2018.

The Information Boss said that the meeting started off with the Governor commending the creative initiative the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has brought to bear over the course of the year saying that it is about the best era of the Ministry since the state was created.

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