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German Envoy, others, lay foundation for Thompson and Grace Medical University

It was pump and pageantry as German Envoy to Nigeria, H.E. Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck, recently led German medical expert, Prof. Uwe Koch-Gromus, Executive Dean of the Medical Faculty of University Medical Center Eppendorf (UKE), Germany, to lay the foundation for the construction of Thompson and Grace Medical University (TGMC) in Akwa Ibom State.

The ceremonial turning of sod marked the beginning of construction activities for the University Senate and General Administration Building, and the Community Primary Healthcare Hospital of the university

The ceremony, attended by the Akwa Ibom State Governor and other top medical experts from Nigeria, Germany and the USA, formally signalled the construction of the university’s infrastructure at the expanse land located in Afaha Obong, an ourskirt of Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom state.

The German Envoy, represented by Mr. Christopher Wenzel, Head of Corporation at the Embassy, said that his 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 which he believes would create the environment for the provision of quality medical services in Nigeria, noting that “a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.”

Similarly, Prof. Uwe Koch-Gromus noted that TGMC will lead in medical research in this part of the world as it 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.

He believes that “TGMC is a good strategic partner that my institution needs in the area of medical research which is lacking in most institutions in Africa.”

In his speech, the Akwa Ibom state governor, Dr. Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Moses Frank Ekpo, said that “I am particularly delighted that with the strategic objective of Thompson and Grace Medical University, 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.

“As 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,” he said.  He assured the management team of the T&G Medical University and its promoters that “our 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.”

Welcoming the guests, Dr. Isaac Thompson Amos, Managing Director and CEO of Thompson & Grace Investment Limited, principal promoters of the TGMU, noted that this project was driven by three critical and closely-related needs in healthcare and medical education in Nigeria.

They include the “need 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.”

According to him, these needs led to his organisation’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 “Work, Live, Learn, Heal and Play.”

It will be recalled that 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.

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