Ayade’s aid assures of Gov Ayade’s support for the JUHRI Project in Akpabuyo.
The Joseph Ukpo Hospital and research institute (JUHRI) was yesterday formally opened for operations in pump and pageantry. Located in Esuk Mbat, Akpabuyo LGA, the site which is the second of the project scheme to take off in the last 4 years, is focussed on the provision of high tech Medicare for the rural people as well as support research in medicine.
In attendance on the govt team was the Special Adviser on Health, Dr David Ushie and the Permanent secretary, Dr Iwara Innocent Iwara.
While introducing the CRS govt team, the MC of the occasion, Rev Fr Anthony applauded the Special Adviser for using his office to recover the CT scan from the Nigerian customs when all efforts to do so failed as the customs seized the equipment on the way to Calabar in the night of 20th Feb, 2022.
During his remarks, Dr Ushie praised the project owner and promised the continued support of the Prof Ben Ayade’s administration. He noted that the Governor who is himself a devout Catholic deeply appreciates Rev Fr (Dr) Andrew Ekpenyong and the Catholic Church for the investments which comes as part of answered prayers to the ENDSARS devastation of the public health facilities in Akpabuyo and Bakassi.
His Excellency, he said, is delighted with the project and will do everything he can to address the problems of access road and national grid power supply to the facility.
Dr Ushie went further to make his personal support including offering to volunteer his services as pathologist to the facility since there was no such specialist in the list of volunteer clinicians.
In his remarks, the Rev Bishop Joseph Ekuwem of the Calabar metropolitan Arch diocese who did the project (Joseph Ukpo Hospital) commissioning appreciated Esuk Mbat community for donating their land freely for the project. The Bishop also prayed God to bless the property for the good of His people.
Other speakers in the ceremony included Prof Emmanuel Ekanem, CMD of Ibom Specialist Hospital and one time CMD of UUTH, who was key note speaker at the occasion. Prof Ekanem summarized his address on access to care which he defined as ‘making healthcare affordable, accessible, acceptable, and equitable to all without regards to social class, ethnicity, or religion’.
The key note speaker admonished the end users to value the equipments, adding that the CT SCAN is the highest quality and the only one in South South Nigeria. The equipment, Prof Ekanem added, takes a resolution of 644 slides within every heart beat, making it the most cutting edge and most expensive of the available categories in the region.
While thanking the guests, the project owner, Rev Fr Andrew, took the gathering through his motivations for the project, stating that he brought up the idea of the project a few years ago while contemplating a way of celebrating the life of his spiritual father, Emeritus Arch Bishop of Calabar, the Most Rev Dr Joseph Edrah Ukpoh.
Rev Prof Andrew said his live for the man is the reason he decided to name the project after his mentor as Joseph Ukpo Hospital and Research Institute (JUHRI).
Prof Andrew who is a university lecturer in USA, stated further that his plan is to establish one such facility in the 3 dioceses of Uyo, Calabar, and Ogoja. ‘We shall be in Edor at Ikom in Sept to do the ground breaking of the Ogoja diocese JUHRI project facility. We set up the first site in Akwa Ibom state four years ago today and it’s been fully operational, offering free healthcare from entry to exit and supporting research in Health”. He thanked the CMD of UCTH, Prof Ikpeme A Ikpeme and all the volunteer clinicians at the facilities.
Concluding the occasion, Rev Fr Anthony (MC of the occasion) informed guests that JUHRI is funded from Fr Andrews monthly salary and proceeds from his academic research work as a professor in the USA. He added that other supports come from donations from friends and well-wishers of the clergy man who has committed to serve God through identifying with the challenges of the poor and unserved members of the community.
Other dignitaries at the project commissioning included the Obong of Calabar, numerous clergies, many academics and project volunteers such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab scientists, etc.