Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that his administration is determined to put in place a dependable health delivery architecture that would help carter to the health needs of Imo indigenes and aspirations of medical professionals, including neurosurgeons.
He spoke on Friday in Owerri while declaring open the 12th annual Nigerian Academy of Neurological Surgeons Scientific Conference at the Beland Hotel with the theme – Evolving Subspecialties of Neurosurgery in Nigeria.
Governor Uzodimma who sincerely appreciated the Academy for the choice of Owerri for the conference, described it “as a well informed decision to visit Imo State.”
The Governor stated that the conference was holding at a time when “many still believe that there is no peace in Imo State.”
His words: “There is no doubt that our improved security situation and our famed hospitality and readiness to provide conducive ambiance for conferences must have informed your choice of Imo State as the venue for this conference.”
Governor Uzodimma noted that in the last couple of months, Imo State has hosted a number of high profile conferences, including that of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police, Accountants, and Guild of Editors.
Governor Uzodimma said: “At the end of their stay, they came to the obvious conclusion, just like you would, at the end of your own conference, that Imo is very safe and nothing near what the detractors wanted to say to the world.
“I am particularly happy that distinguished professionals like you are in our midst today. Those of us and many more who are aware of your invaluable contributions to the advancement of medicine for healthy humanity will appreciate you.
“Let me use this auspicious occasion of this conference to publicly commend you specially for your painstaking application to duty. I equally commend your sacrifice and patriotism in choosing to stay back in Nigeria even when you have better opportunities abroad for what some called greener pastures.”
Governor Uzodimma concluded by thanking the neurosurgeons for their choice, “to remain here in your native land to help our country and her citizens who desperately need your specialised skills.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Governor reeled out the numerous efforts his government had made in the area of health care delivery in Imo State, including but not limited to provision of Mobil Clinics for the rural dwellers, construction and equipping of health centres in the 305 Electoral Wards in the State, enhancement of activities in 19 General Hospitals in Imo, the procurement of modern medical equipment for the State owned University Teaching Hospital at Orlu with the attendant facilitation of the requirements for the accreditation of the Medical College which resulted in the graduation of students after more than 11years, among other interventions in the medical sector of the State.
He therefore promised to do what is within the capacity of the State government to support the neurosurgeons and ensure that they are satisfied with their professional callings.
While welcoming the participants, the Chairman of the opening ceremony, Professor Maurice Iwu, told the audience that Imo is now emerging as centre of excellence in Health, noting that the efforts of the government under Governor Uzodimma during the ugly days of the outbreak of Corona virus and the efforts made to contain the menace is worthy of commendation and emulation.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Success Prosper Ohayagha in his remarks stated: “We are now conducting complicated neurosurgeries in Imo State.”
The event was well attended by dignitaries including the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof Placid Njoku, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Idris Ahmed Wase, the Minister for State, Science, Chief Henry Iko, the Secretary to the Imo State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie and members of the State expanded executive.
Also in attendance was Prof. Samuel Ohaegbulem, the father of Neurosurgery in Nigeria who is also Director Memfys Hospital, Enugu, among other egg-heads in the medical profession.