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COVID-19: Akwa Ibom State Government Commissions New Emergency Operations Center

In line with his avowed commitment to quality health care services, the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Tuesday commissioned a newly instituted Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Uyo – Akwa Ibom State capital.

The State-of-the-art facility constructed by the State Government and upgraded by the United State Agency for international Development (USAID) is coming barely few weeks after a world class isolation Center was commissioned by Governor Emmanuel at Ituk Mbang, Uruan local Government Area.

Inaugurating the facility, the Secretary to the State Government Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem who represented the Governor, stated that “The COVID-19 pandemic which is ravaging the world today has been an eye-opener for us to review our health policies and provide matching infrastructure”.

He also espoused on the vision of the State Government for the 22-room facility which houses the EOC situation room and communications center, and also comprises a conference hall, Four (4) call rooms and other amenities.

“The vision of the State Government is that the EOC will be a hub, not just for COVID-19 response but for all other medical emergencies and security challenges as it will have coordinating facilities”, said Dr Ekuwem.

Setting the tone for the event earlier, Dr Dominic Ukpong the State Commissioner for Health appreciated the continued support of the USG through Jhpiego and other partners.

He stated that the establishment of the EOC – communications center inclusive – will facilitate 24-hour functionality and enable the State have a faster response time as it concerns COVID-19 and several other diseases of public health interest.

The set up of the Communication Call Center, and COVID-19 situation rooms within the EOC was carried out with funding from the USAID through the Reaching Impact, Saturation and Epidemic Control led by Jhpiego in collaboration with Data Fi working closely with the Akwa Ibom State Government.

The Emergency Operation Center will enable centralized, real-time monitoring and predictive modeling for enhanced coordination of activities as well as informed decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies. It will also serve citizenry by facilitating the seamless coordination and integration of the State government actions to both curb and contain the spread of the dreaded virus.

Meanwhile, a virtual meeting on Google meet was convened before the official commissioning of the facility. Prominent in the attendance were; US Ambassador to Nigeria- Mary Beth Leonard, Deputy Chief of Mission, United States – Kattleen Fitzgibbon, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Multilateral and Donor Agencies – Mr. Ndiana-Abasi Udom, State Epidemiologist – Dr Ntiense Udoette, Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) – Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, key members of the State COVID-19 Task force and senior representatives of JHPIEGO, RISE and SIDHAS.

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