By Becky John
The Paramount ruler of Ikono Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom, Chief Nyong Obop, has lamented the apparent neglect of the only general hospital in the area by the state government. Obop expressed his feelings on Monday in his palace in Ikono in an interview with the News men.
“We are not satisfied with the state of the only government owned hospital we have in this area.
“The hospital is dilapidated. The government has not done so much in this regard,” the traditional ruler said. He alleged that government free medical treatment for the elderly and children had yet to reach Ikono, saying “the elderly pay for their treatment here”.
The royal father noted that the neglect had negative impact on the health of his people, adding that the residents were patronising hospitals in neighbouring local government areas.It was observed that the hospital located at Ibiaku Ntok Okpo, was overgrown with wild grasses, showing apparent state of inactivity there. Speaking with news men, a staff of the hospital, who spoke on ground of anonymity, said the sordid state of the hospital had been communicated to the State Health Management Board.
“The decay has affected almost all the departments, you can see there is no power supply here, there are no toilets, no water and workers no longer come to work.
“Whenever it rains, the whole place is drained from the theatre to other wards located upstairs because the whole roof of the hospital has collapsed,” the staff said.
A report also showed the deplorable state of the hospital was forcing the residents to travel two hours to receive medical attention at the general hospitals in Ikot Ekpene and Essien Udim local government areas, respectively. Reacting to the report, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Emem Bassey, explained that the Ikono general hospital was one of the health facilities that government would soon give a facelift. Bassey said that as soon as the 2015 Budget was approved, money would be released to tackle challenges in the hospital.