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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Governor Gives Approval for New Primary Healthcare Center in Akwa Ibom Community Following PREMIUM TIMES’ Report

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The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno, has approved the construction of a primary healthcare centre (PHC) in the Usaka Annang community in Obot Akara Local Government Area of the state.

Mr Eno gave the approval on Thursday when he flagged off the construction of 11.71km internal roads and two 15-metre bridges in the area. He said the construction of the health facility will be executed simultaneously with the road project.

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“By the time we come back here in 12 months, we will have both the road and clinic to inaugurate,” he announced at Group School Usaka Annang, the venue of the flag-off ceremony.

The governor noted that the healthcare centre will replace a primary health care centre in the area which had been abandoned for about 30 years.

The governor said the projects were in fulfilment of his campaign promises to bring development to every corner of the state in line with his blueprint for rural development.

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Backstory

In November, PREMIUM TIMES, through the support of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) drew attention to the abandoned Usaka Annang primary health centre and the hardship faced by people in the area in accessing healthcare services.

The report captures the travails of residents who are compelled to seek medical care at health facilities more than eight kilometres away in Nto Edino or even 24-kilometre distance in Ikot Ekpene. The situation is worsened by the dilapidated state of the road network in the area—most of which had been affected by erosion. Those who could not afford such strenuous trips resort to herbs and drugs purchased at local patent medicine stores.

ALSO READ: NLC in Akwa Ibom demands implementation of N35,000 minimum wage

The story also reveals that the construction of the 14-room health facility which was initiated in 1989 by Godwin Abbe, an army colonel and military administrator of Akwa Ibom State at the time, was halted in 1992 due to non-provision of funds to the contractors, Palmarol Nigeria Limited.

The project remained abandoned under successive administrations until the recent intervention by the current governor, Mr Eno.

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Appreciation

Meanwhile, the residents are excited over the announcement by the governor, even as they thanked Mr Eno for coming to their aid.

The community’s Village Head, Ndarake Otuekong, thanked the governor for extending what he described as “his developmental drive across the state to the area and bringing hope to its people after their decades of suffering.”

“Our communities here have been suffering over the years. We are grateful to Governor Umo Eno for finally answering our prayers. God bless him,” he said.

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