By Ime Silas

It was an outpouring of praises and blessings yesterday, Monday, when a Lagos-based lawyer, Edo Ukpong, handed over to his Ndiya Clan, Ikono local government area of Akwa Ibom state, a newly reconstructed Health Centre. The rehabilitated health centre has standard delivery wards, with good toilet facilities, constant water and power supplies, etc.

The event was witnessed by the State Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Nsikak Nyoyoko and other health workers.

Speaking while performing the unveiling of the health facility, the Clan Head of Ndiya, His Highness, Obong Godswill Okon Udo-Isang, said he was overwhelmed with joy to witness the life-touching ceremony.

The royal father who noted that the rehabilitation of the health centre would go a long way in curbing maternal and infant mortality, also added that it came at the right time, considering the serious health challenge facing the entire world.

Obong Udo-Isang, while delivering a message of goodwill from members of his Clan Council said that the facility would serve the health need of, not just Ikot Akpa Edet village, but the entire Clan, as according to him, the health centre was the best in all ramifications.

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He prayed God to bless the donor and continually grant him the wherewithal to continue in his philanthropic and humanitarian services to his fatherland.

In the same vein, the Village Head of Ikot Akpa Edet, the host community, Eteidung Isong Udo Essien, while describing Edo Ukpong as a destiny child, maintained that he had wiped away the reproach of the community.

Eteidung Essien further hinted that his kinsmen and women were hitherto suffering from various diseases with nowhere to run to.

Receiving the Health Centre, the Health Officer in charge, Alice Vincent Essien, thanked the donor, whom she described in glowing terms. She recalled how the facility was hitherto deserted by the surrounding communities due to its deplorable state.

She said: “Nobody could visit the health centre anymore because of its dilapidated state. The health workers had no place to sit as offices or wards. The roofs were leaking; doors broken. Even when there could be donations of health equipment from governments, groups and individuals, there was nowhere we could keep them.

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Pregnant women within the community were suffering; looking elsewhere for delivery. Sick children and the elderly were all stranded. The situation was very bad.

But today, we thank Barr Edo Ukpong for coming to our rescue. Today, we can proudly say that we have a functional health centre. God will bless and reward him abundantly”

Earlier in his speech, the donor, Barr Edo Ukpong, said he drew his inspiration to assist his people from his late father, Bassey Ukpong Udo, a foremost Educationist and former Assistant Director of Army Education, Nigerian Army. He hinted that the reconstruction project was funded under the auspices of Bassey Ukpong Udo Foundation.

While appreciating the Officer in charge of the health centre for not absconding in view of its dilapidation, Ukpong urged the health workers to use the facility for the benefit of humanity.

He charged the host community and environs to patronize the health centre while also securing same against vandalism.

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The State Chairman of NMA, Dr. Nyoyoko, while expressing his satisfaction over the standard of the health centre, extolled the philanthropist for considering the health need of his people, especially in the face of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

From right, the donor -Barr Ukpong, Health Officer -Alice, Clan Head- Obong Godswill and Village Head, Eteidung Isong…during the unveiling

The NMA helmsman also commended attendants at the occasion for observing the rule of social distancing and other hygienic regulations. He charged them to continue to uphold healthy practices in order to stay safe from the Covid-19 disease.