I want to make Akwa Ibom the Medical Tourism Capital of Africa
--Dr Moses Udoh
29 Jun 2011
Dr. Moses Udoh is one of the leading Nigerian - American physicians based in Columbia, South Carolina. A Diplomat in the American Board of Internal Medicine, he was honored last year as one of America’s Top physicians by Consumers Research Council of America. The Akwa Ibom born physician is also a notable philanthropist who has used his enormous resources to advance the cause of humanity. Last year, at the annual Akwa Ibom Diaspora Convention in Baltimore, where he was honored, and served as the Chairman of the Gala Night, he made huge financial donation to the association. He has granted scholarships to numerous indigents who otherwise would have had their future foreclosed.
Dr. Udoh is one of those Nigerian-American who, through their professional accomplishments, have shown that Nigeria indeed is blessed with professionals who can hold with the best in their profession.
Please may we know you – your educational background, and how you got to be where you are today-running a thriving medical practice in South Carolina?
I am a true Akwa Ibomite. I am from Etim Ekpo LGA. I am one of the eight children of the family. After completing Primary School in Etim Ekpo, I was accepted at Federal Government College in Enugu where I completed my “Ordinary and Advanced” levels before getting admission to University of South Carolina, USA.
After completing a B.sc in Biology from the University of South Carolina, I obtained another degree in Respiratory Care Science from Greenville Technical Collage, in Greenville, also in South Carolina. I completed my (Doctor of Medicine) at both Spartan Health Sciences University and New York Medical College. After completing my post graduate training (Residency) in Internal Medicine with strong emphasis in acute care medicine, I became a hospitalist. This specialty allows me to focus mainly on complex acute disease processes, such as acute stroke, acute myocardial infarction, sepsis, heart failure, respiratory failure and a host of other acute disease processes that can be fatal without immediate intervention. I spent 100 percent of my time in the intensive care unit (ICU) emergency rooms and hospital wards, saving precious lives.
I returned to South Carolina to join the Faculty of Medicine Groups of Greenville Hospital System in South Carolina till 2006. I am currently with Sisters of Charity Providence Hospital in Columbia; SC is a group practice where I also serve as the Vice-chair of Medicine.
Professionally, I am a Diplomat in the American Boards of Internal Medicine; Member of Society of Hospital Medicine and a Fellow of American College of Physicians. I was much honored when my name was included as one of America’s Top Physicians in 2010 by Consumer Research Council of America.
You are a Philanthropist and a pillar of support to Akwa Ibom community; what motivates you to be so involved?
My motivation came from within. It started out of true conviction that I want to give back to my community. I want to contribute positively to our world so as to make it a better planet for future generations. People like Mr. Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Mr. Bill Gates are my heroes.
What role do you think you can play in helping the government of Akwa Ibom state improve its healthcare delivery?
My passion for Health care quality and improvement is no secret. As a physician in the for-front of healthcare issues in the US, I am uniquely qualified to consult, and assist in healthcare quality and utilization reviews, using technology to achieve efficiency in diagnoses and treatment of complex diseases. We can position our state as the destination of choice for the treatment of Heart disease, stroke and hip replacement. Akwa Ibom could become a medical tourism capital of Africa, where people can fly to get cardiac catherisation, intensive care and other western type medical care. Imagine the economic impact these could have on our state.
As the healthcare committee chairman for Akwa Ibom Diasporan Network (AIDN), I have been working with a team of specialists such as Dr. Gabriel Udoetuk, Dr Nse Ntukidem and others who are working collaboratively with various healthcare institutions in the United States of America with the hope establishing an American style hospital that would be internationally recognized as a destination of choice for treatment of acute and complex disease processes.
What is your impression of Governor Akpabio and his leadership qualities?
Governor Akpabio is a generational leader. I support him not because he is a product of Federal Government College, Just like me, Barr Ata Ikiddeh and Governor Imoke of Cross River State. When you look at what Governor Akpabio has done in area of infrastructural development, free and compulsory education, supporting him becomes a no brainer. That is why anyone thinking of running for an elected office in Nigeria should be schooled on the principle and practice of Akpabiosm.
You are one of the few Nigerian physicians in Columbia, What has the experience been like?
Very rewarding indeed, I love South Carolina. I have met with very nice people there, including my wife and in-laws. Not only was I honored by South Carolina General Assembly in 2005 along with others in recognition of my involvement in local development as a Graduate of Leadership Greenville program of training future leaders.
Do you have political ambitions?
People ask me this question all the time. Well, even in South Carolina I was asked to run for an open county seat but I declined. I love what I am doing, but if my state or my people call on me to serve I must answer.
Where do you see Nigeria to be in the next 4 years with Jonathan as the President?
I believe President Jonathan understands what Nigeria needs; issues with reliable power supply, transformation of our healthcare system and empowering the people should be in the fore front of his administration.