Obanliku tragedy: Health sector affected by years of non-employment – Commissioner, Ayuk


The Commissioner for Health in Cross River, Dr Henry Ayuk, has blamed non-employment in the civil service for a decade for the present state of the health and social services sectors.

Reacting to the recent death of a woman during childbirth at the General Hospital, Obanliku, Ayuk, on Tuesday, he said it was now made manifest in the quality of personnel and services delivered.

It would be recalled that on Tuesday night, Oct. 17, a woman in labour died in the facility located in Sankwala, Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River.

The sad occurrence sparked uproar in the community, following which Gov. Bassey Otu ordered the immediate deployment of health personnel to the facility.

In a statement issued, the governor also condoled with the Paramount Ruler of Obanliku, His Royal Majesty Amos Item, and the deceased’s family.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar, the commissioner said that if the family accepted, an autopsy had been ordered to ascertain the cause of death.

He also said that the government was taking immediate steps to reestablish full services in the general hospital.

“We are ensuring that relevant personnel are sent there, in fact, we have redeployed two doctors to the facility that should be resuming in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“Also due to the dearth of workers in the state, as many of them especially in the health sector will be retiring in 2023, the governor has decided to extend the services of the nurses that would be retiring, for three more years.

“Similarly, the state government is also looking at recalling some of the retired doctors who are still strong to work in the state’s health sector on contract basis,” he said.

Ayuk said the state government would meet with the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Civil Society Organisations to package some incentives for medical practitioners to be sent to rural communities, subject to the governor’s approval.

Obanliku Local Government Area is one of the five LGAs in the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River.

It is known for its many mountains and hills that obstruct easy access to its communities and development.

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