After 70 Years Of Neglect, Bakassi Community To Get Health Center

In Breaking News, CrossRiverWatch Podcast, Health

By Judex Okoro, The Sun Newspaper

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Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State has inaugurated a health center in Ine Abasi community, 70 years after its establishment.

Ine Abasi is one of the communities in Bakassi that have suffered neglect in terms of infrastructure. The hard-to-reach community is located 20 minutes away from Ikang community by road.

It is a fishing settlement located on the banks of the sea linking with Cameroon. It has a population of over 5,000, made up mostly of fishermen and traders.

Inaugurating the first health center in the community recently, the Bakassi LGA Chairman, Chief Iyadim Amboni Iyadim, said the project is in line with the Council’s efforts to ensure universal health coverage gets to all nooks and crannies that need medical attention. 

He said: “This project is also a fulfillment of a promise I made last year when I visited this hard-to-reach community. When fully operational, the health facility will help eliminate the out-of-pocket expenditure that makes access to quality and affordable healthcare services inequitable, mostly among vulnerable pregnant women and children under five years.

“The health center will be equipped with modern medical facilities and will also help reduce infant and maternal mortality rates in the rural area. It is in tandem with the vision of the health care development program of the State Government, which aims at taking healthcare to rural dwellers.”

He promised that the center would be completed in record time and would become operational before he leaves office, just as it would serve all Nigerian residents in that part of Bakassi.

In her remarks, the Director-General of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, commended the Council Chairman for embarking on such a life-saving project, promising to collaborate with the local government to ensure affordable and accessible healthcare service is accessible in the area.

Ekpenyong called on residents of the area “to rally around the chairman for exhibiting good leadership qualities by bringing dividends of democracy to you.”

She enjoined them to “see the health center as their project and therefore, guard it jealousy as the State Government will upon completion deploy health workers there.”

On the need to stay safe following the recent outbreak of cholera in the area, the DG advised them to religiously observe good hygiene procedures by always boiling their water before drinking to prevent all forms of the disease.

A woman leader in the community, Eka Affiong Ekpenyong, also commended the Government for remembering them at this crucial moment, as it would help them in checking their health status, especially pregnant women who need constant medical checkups.

“I must confess, we need this health facility more than the men because we are the weaker sex, and would help us from constantly entering boats to Ikang or Calabar in case of emergency.”

A fisherman who gave his name simply Ekong said, with the health center, they can now access some drugs and medical advice to stay healthy and go about their fishing business.

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