Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, has expressed his administration’s willingness to partner with the U.S. in healthcare delivery and other projects aimed at meaningful development of the people.
Emmanuel stated this on Monday when U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, visited him at the Government House, Uyo.
The governor said that his administration had invested a lot in efforts to transform the health sector in the state.
He noted that no purpose-driven government could talk about human capital development without a functional healthcare system.
“I must say here that your mission is clear. I know I made a statement on our healthcare delivery system here, vis-à-vis various areas of infectious diseases that you are interested in.
I appreciate your efforts to save lives globally.
“Our investment in healthcare here is also to save lives, because you cannot be talking about human capital development without a functional healthcare system. You will not achieve anything,’’ he said.
He thanked the U.S. and its development agencies for their vision to partner the state in the fight against HIV/AIDS to reduce the scourge in the country and others within the Gulf of Guinea.
Emmanuel stressed that Akwa Ibom, which is a border state in the coastal region, and which records a huge traffic of business people from other states and countries, recognised the importance of partnership with the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) to save lives.
“I can reassure you, on behalf of all of us in this room, that we are partners in progress and we will do everything to ensure that we save lives,” he said.
Earlier, Symington had sought the support of Akwa Ibom Government to fight HIV/AIDs and Malaria.
He called for collaborative efforts between the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the state in the fight against HIV/AIDs scourge and other diseases in the next one year.
The envoy, who led a delegation of USAID and CDC on the visit, commended the governor for his giant strides in healthcare delivery and other infrastructure in the state.
He said one of the reasons for his visit was to launch the most important efforts in medi-care that the U.S. had ever made anywhere in the world; which was to save lives.
Symington noted that without a healthy family, other amenities put in place by government would amount to nothing.
“All the amenities, the good roads, the new industries and the schools I have seen, will not be appreciated if the people are not healthy to make use of them,’’ he said.
He also congratulated the governor on his victory, saying that the governor’s re-election placed a great responsibility on him to continue to serve the people of the state and Nigeria at large.
Symington and his team had earlier visited Ibom Specialist Hospital, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, and other health facilities in the state.