Covid-19: Furore over sack of Epidemiologist in Akwa Ibom

Covid-19: Furore over sack of Epidemiologist in Akwa Ibom

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 7:35 pm

Governor Udom Emmanuel

Richard Elesho

The war against the Coronavirus outbreak may suffer a set back in Akwa Ibom State. This is as the government has ordered the sack of Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, the State Epidemiologist. The development is generating heated concerns across the State.

An epidemiologist is a medical professional who specializes mainly on the study and containment of disease outbreak. As at 26th April, Akwa Ibom has recorded 12 cases of Covid-19. The state has recorded one death, while two of the patients have fully recovered and been discharged.

Rumours about Aniekeme’s untimely disengagement first pilfered on the social media last Friday. Different posts on Twitter and Facebook alleged that he was sacked for refusing to manipulate Covid-19 data of the State.

PremiumTimes reports that the sack was not confirmed until 9pm on Saturday in a statement by Commissioner for Health Dominic Ukpong. No reasons were given for the sack except that his replacement was a result of “internal reorganization to match skills with competence.” One Ntiese Umoette was appointed to replace Uwah.

The sack has sent many tongues wagging in the State. Fans of the embattled Epidemiologist insist his removal was because he pushed in more samples for Covid-19 testing against the number approved by the Health Commissioner. But apologists of government allege that Aniekeme was sacked for being rude to Governor Udom Emmanuel.

It is feared that the situation may spark industrial disharmony between medical workers in the State and the Commissioner for Health. Aniekeme is ah award winning Epidemiologist and we’ll respected in his profession.

Spokesperson of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA in Ajwa Ibom State, John Emmanuel in a radio programme on Inspiration FM suggested that Uwah’s sack was political and not handled professionally.

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