Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has made a swift replacement of the deceased Health Commissioner Prof. Anthony Ugochukwu, who died last week.
Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi was sworn in today 9 April 2020 as the new Commissioner of Health of Enugu State at a brief ceremony in the Lion Building, the seat of power in Enugu.
The new commissioner is a consultant public health physician at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla,and an associate professor at the College of Medicine of the University.
At the ceremony, Ugwuanyi spoke of a compelling need to make an urgent replacement to the late commissioner, to re-establish “commanding leadership for the State Health Care System under a commissioner in the face of the escalating Coronavirus Disease pandemic.”
The Enugu State House of Assembly conveyed the approval of the nominee to the State Governor in a letter dated and delivered today as well.
After taking his oath of office, Gov. Ugwuanyi, asked the commissioner to bring his “expertise and the requisite gravitas to bear on your new role as Commissioner for Health, Enugu State, especially in these unusual times.”
Dr. Obi said he was grateful for the appointment and promised to diligently carry out his duties to the best of his ability.
The former commissioner died five days ago of complications arising from kidney disease, according to his family. He barely stayed a year on the seat before he took ill.
Until now, the State Task Force on Coronavirus was headed by the permanent secretary in the Ministry.
Dr. Obi, the new health commissioner, is from Akpugo in Nkanu West LGA. He brings to the job a wealth of experience in communicating and managing public health issues.
He will be leaving his position as senior adviser to the CMD of UNTH from which office he supervised the projects and partnerships management office.
Dr. Obi is also a trained communicator on community health and, until his appointment, headed the health promotion and communication stream at the University’s College of Medicine.
Among the experiences he has under his belt are serving as pioneer head of the University’s Biomedical Communication Centre and he is the current deputy national representative of the International Association for Communication in Healthcare.