By Jonathan Ugbal
The nurse in charge of the Primary Healthcare facility in Ohong, Obudu local government area where unknown medical personnel were rendering medical services to people, appeared before the board of the Cross River Primary Health Care Development Agency Friday in Calabar, findings by CrossRiverWatch reveal.
Gertrude Ayendi, according to sources told the board that she played no role in bringing in the strange medical personnel contrary to popular opinions that fingered her alongside the Primary Health Coordinator in Obudu, Christiana Akeke, the local government health supervisor and the traditional rulers in the community as accomplices.
Ayendi who allegedly came with documents to prove her innocence, said the people met her initially and she sent them away, directing them to go get permission from the council which the village head and the council gave them the go ahead.
Findings by CrossRiverWatch also reveal that Ayendi had allowed them to use a part of the facility when she saw a letter from the council granting them the permission to carry out their medical program with the doctors demanding 500 Naira for registration and charging between 15,000 to 20,000 Naira for the surgeries while patients were made to bring their beds and wrappers from home and directed to sleep on the floor.
It is unclear what the board decision was as at press time with the PHC Coordinator, Akeke yet to appear before the board as she was allegedly copied in the letter emanating from the council with one source saying that nurse Gertrude pleaded not to be punished as her job will be on the line if found wanting.
Confirming the development, the Director General of the agency, Betta Edu told CrossRiverWatch in a telephone interview that the board was not pleased with the situation and it was time for drastic action.
“I had earlier said in an interview with you that due process will be followed and this is part of that process. For the appearance of Gertrude Ayendi before the board, I need to be very clear about one thing, the officer in charge of any facility takes both the blame and credit for anything that goes wrong or right in that facility. If the board finds her innocent, she stays, if not, she goes.
“The current administration led by the enigmatic Senator Ben Ayade has the health of Cross Riverians at the grassroots as priority which is evident in the massive and multifaceted approach to revitalize primary healthcare to ensure the efficient delivery of quality and accessible healthcare to all” Betta said.
In a related development, CrossRiverWatch also gathered that the board of the agency agreed to draft a strong worded letter banning the use of primary healthcare facilities for activities not approved by the agency as well as draft stringent measures for people seeking to carry out medical outreaches or render medical services to Cross Riverians. It is however unclear when this will be done.
It will be recalled that recently, CrossRiverWatch exclusively reported that some fake doctors were rendering medical services in a health facility in Obudu, the third of such incidence in less than a year in Obudu with elders and youths of the community squaring up with policemen who came in with the Community Relations Officer to arrest them.
Reacting to the incidence, Betta Edu had told CrossRiverWatch in an interview on social media that the agency will not leave any stone unturned as it will exhaust all legal means to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
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