In a bid to have a first-hand assessment of the state of affairs of the hospital and as well feel the impulses of patients, the Wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel yesterday visited the Qua Iboe Church Leprosy hospital, Ekpene Obom in Etinan Local Government area where she donated several food items and toiletries to inmates of the hospital.

Speaking on the visit, the state first lady said she came to identify with the inmates because God appreciates it when the affluent in the society visits and donates to the needy noting that though they have been confined to the health institution because of their blight, it was pertinent they do not give up on themselves adding that God has not given up on them either.

Mrs. Emmanuel charged the inmates of the hospital not to be dejected by their plight but rather be prayerful and cultivate the ‘I can do spirit’ stating that they were still productive to the society. She disclosed that government will also look at measures to empower some of them who have undergone rehabilitation in order to be re-integrated into the society. She thanked the staff and management of the hospital for their continued services praying that their labour of love to the needy will not be forgotten. The first lady also promised to be visiting them more often.

In his welcome remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Archibong Afia on behalf of staff and management of the institution welcome the first lady saying they were thrilled to receive her. He congratulated the Governor’s wife on their victories and subsequent swearing-in as the chief executive of the state, praying that God will grant them grace to stay focused.

Dr. Afia informed the Governor’s wife that the hospital established about eight decades ago is administered under a tripartite arrangement between Qua Iboe Church Nigeria, Akwa Ibom state Government and the Leprosy Mission noting that it was quite unfortunate when the Leprosy Mission withdrew their staff and services in 2010 due to world economic meltdown stressing that since then it has been difficult with the hospital.

He also highlighted various challenges facing the hospital to include, dilapidated buildings, patients feeding, rehabilitation of patients, tarring of access road, water reticulation, security fencing and the absorption of some mission staff into the civil service, calling on the government to help in this direction.

Also speaking, an inmate of the hospital, Mrs. Offiong Bassey who doubles as the President, Joint Association of Persons Living with Disabilities, Akwa Ibom chapter thanked the Governor’s wife for the visit adding that her coming has issued a sigh of relief to them. She bemoaned their lack of inclusion in the scheme of things in government advocating that they should also be considered for positions.

Similarly, Mrs. Emmanuel visited the Goodnews Gospel Village Community, Abak where she made cash donation, food items and toiletries to the home for their upkeep. The first lady appreciated the founder of the home and wife, Arch. Bishop and Apostle Elijah Mboho for their love and vision for the less privileged in the society saying that what they have achieved over the years was a no mean feat. She also took time to admonish the children of the home to be of good conduct and respect their elders adding that they have what it takes to become successful in life.

In her remarks, the administrator of the home, Apostle Edu Mboho appreciated the first lady’s support and donations towards the home pointing that it was answers to prayers, she later prayed for her success and bountiful rewards. Apostle Mboho noted the home which has produced many graduates who are doing well in the society today has recorded many signs and wonders since inception.

Also speaking, the Hon. Commissioner of Information Mr. Aniekan Umanah who is an indigent of the area appreciated the governor’s wife for visiting the home at this point in time adding that since time immemorial, the home has been doing a great job. He also thanked the founder for his consistent running of the home praying that God should sustain him continually. There were song and dance renditions by the children of the home to the admiration of all.

On the First lady’s entourage was the Hon. Commissioner for women affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, her health counterpart, Dr. Dominic Ukpong as well as Science and Technology, Dr. Elizabeth Obot. Wife of speaker, Mrs. Ememobong Uko, Others were Legislator’s wives, chairmen of board and parastatals,  Mbong Iban and other government female dignitaries.

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