Akwa Ibom State Government, on Friday, ordered the removal from office of Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, the state epidemiologist.
LATEST NIGERIA NEWSPAPER report that Uwah was sacked for allegedly taking about 30 samples of COVID-19 suspected cases for testing against the wishes of the Commissioner of health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong who wanted only 10 to be sent out.
A source close to the Nigeria Medical Association in the State, who confirmed his removal on condition of anonymity said “the Epidemiologist, Dr Aniekeme Uwah, has been removed from office for taking samples of COVID-19 suspected cases against the wishes of the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Inyang Ukpong.
“Yesterday, I learnt Dr Uwah had supervised over 30 samples sent for COVID-19 tests, a step that obviously angered the commissioner for health who wanted not more than 10 to be sent”.
The sack of the epidemiologist has brought to the fore the lingering crisis in the health sector between the commissioner and the health workers in the state which began when they walked out on the commissioner for not inviting NMA to a stakeholders’ meeting on COVID19 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
The source expressed dismay that the government is merely mouthing its readiness to carry out “massive community testing” of COVID-19 as a strategy to contain the spread of the pandemic in the state.
He said, “This is greatly dampening the morale of the medical personnel. How can we be having this kind of issue at a crucial time like this?”
The state Commissioner of health, Dr Dominic Ukpong could not pick his calls to react to the issues as of the time of filing this report.