Medical experts from Germany, led by German Envoy to Nigeria, H.E. Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck and the Executive Dean of the Medical Faculty of University Medical Center Eppendorf (UKE), Germany, Prof. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, on Friday, performed the foundation laying ceremony of the Thompson and Grace Medical Universityâ€™s (TGMC) Senate and General Administration Building, and the Community Primary Healthcare Hospital of the University.
The ceremony, attended by Akwa Ibom State Governor Udoh Emmanuel and other top medical experts from Nigeria, Germany and the USA, formally signalled the commencement of construction of the universityâ€™s infrastructure at the expanse land located in Afaha Obong, an ourskirt of Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom state.
The Envoy, who was represented by the Head of Corporation at the Embassy, Mr. Christopher Wenzel, said that the government and people of Germany are concerned about the health service delivery in Nigeria and are willing to support this kind of project designed to improve the health standard of the people of Nigeria.
He called on the governments and institutions across the globe to support the Thompson and Grace Medical University, saying it would create environment for the provision of quality medical services in Nigeria, noting, â€œa healthy nation is a wealthy nation.
Similarly, Koch-Gromus noted that TGMC will lead in medical research in this part of the world as will leverage on the experience of the University of Hamburg (UKE) to develop quality curriculum for medical students in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
â€œTGMC is a good strategic partner that my institution needs in the area of medical research which is lacking in most institutions in Africaâ€, Wenzel said.
In his speech, the governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Moses Frank Ekpo, said that he was particularly delighted that with the strategic objective of TGMC, there is every reason to believe that this institution will become a centre of excellence that will further fast track the process of technology transfer in the vital area of quality healthcare service delivery.
According to him, the project of this magnitude comes with a lot of value addition and multiplier effect especially in the area of job creation.
â€œAs from projected statistics, I am told that when fully operational, this medical city has the capacity to accommodate up to 35,000 workers in what appears to be one of the biggest foreign direct investment drives in this part of the world,â€ he said. He assured the management team of the T&G Medical University and its promoters that â€œour state government fully identifies with this project and will continue to do whatever is required to provide the convivial environment for the success of this great initiative.â€
Welcoming the guests, Managing Director and CEO of Thompson & Grace Investment Limited, principal promoters of the TGMU, Dr. Isaac Thompson Amos, stated that the project was driven by three critical and closely-related needs in healthcare and medical education in Nigeria.
They include the â€œneed for qualified healthcare professionals in Nigeria; the need for world-class medical university capable of innovative research and development (R&D) in Nigeria and Africa; and the need for affordable and accessible healthcare services in Nigeria.â€
According to him, these needs led to his organisationâ€™s collaboration with some international medical and research institutions across the globe such as USTAWI Research Institute, USA; HKS Inc., USA; Center for Health Systems & Design, Texas A&M University USA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, USA; University Medical Center of Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), Germany; UKE Consult Und Management GmbH, Germany, Hellmann Worldwide Healthcare Logistics GmbH, Germany, among others to carry out research, planning and design of the medical city that would create a healthcare model where people can â€œWork, Live, Learn, Heal and Play.â€
On July 31, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Thompson and Grace Investment Limited, Lagos, and the University Medical Centre Eppendorf (UKE), Germany, at the office of the German Ambassador to Nigeria in Abuja to consult, design and operate the Thompson and Grace Medical University which is expected to kick off in the next two years.