By Iniubong ANAKO
Residents of Etinan Local Government area have raised alarm over the state of abandonment and deplorable condition of the Qua Iboe Church Leprosy Hospital at Ekpene Obom.
According to them, “efforts to draw government’s attention to the deplorable state of the hospital which is the only leprosy hospital in this part of the country have proved abortive. The past and present government had both given deaf hears to the hospital and its management.”
They told our reporter that “the current situation at the hospital has become worse following the dilapidated structures and poor facilities which have been in existence since the establishment of the hospital by the Qua Iboe Church before it was taken over by the Akwa Ibom State Government years go. Presently, there is nothing to show at the entire premises of the hospital as the facilities and structures have completely decayed.”
“All buildings and other infrastructure at the hospital are those that were put up by its founder ( Qua Iboe) and since it was taken over by the government , nothing has been done to salvage its pathetic situation over the years.”
Investigation revealed that no maintenance or provision of new equipments has been given the hospital and as such there is no effective and prompt healthcare delivery in the hospital.
Our reporter also discovered that the road leading to the hospital from Ikot Udo Oto, opposite the hometown of the Paramount Ruler of Etinan Local Government Area, is impassable.
“Throughout the previous administration in the state, nothing was done by the then Governor, not to talk of visiting the hospital. Also, ever since the present government came into existence, there has not been any record of visit by government. This worrisome situation has made our people wondering and has raised many questions as to why government should abandoned us and the hospital,” one of the resident lamented.
“it is worthy of note that the government of Akwa Ibom State has long abandoned and neglected the hospital that is currently the only leprosy hospital in this part of the country, living all the responsibilities in the hospital for Qua Iboe Church. The church has so far taking it as a point of duty and major responsibilities to support, care and even provide assistance to inmates. But for Qua Iboe Church and other sister churches, non-governmental organizations, institutions, private sectors, associations and students especially from various schools of nursing in the state and sympathetic individuals who have painstakingly visited and donated to the wellbeing of the inmates, the place would have been forgotten by now.”
They called on the state government to come to their rescue and salvage the hospital from complete collapse.