C’River Gov’t Sets Up Investigation Panel Over Alleged Theft at Obudu Primary Healthcare Centre

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…Community Involvement Vital for Health Infrastructure Security, says Health Commissioner


In a recent meeting with community representatives and Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) personnel, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Henry Egbe Ayuk, emphasized the importance of community involvement in securing government infrastructure, particularly health facilities. This call to action follows an incident of alleged theft of equipment from the Bebuabie Community’s PHC in Obudu Local Government Area.

In response to the public outcry from the youth of Bebuabie Community, who shared a viral video alleging theft of equipment from the PHC by the LGA PHC Coordinator, Christiana Akeke, Dr. Ayuk engaged in a comprehensive discussion that spanned over two hours. The dialogue included perspectives from both the accused, Christiana Akeke, and the Officer in-charge of the PHC, Ugih Elizabeth, as well as Bebuabie Community representatives.

Dr. Ayuk commended Bebuabie Community for their commitment to safeguarding the government facility in their area. He stressed that it is vital for communities to take responsibility for the security of government-owned properties in their vicinity. The Commissioner underlined that security should not be solely reliant on the government, and communities should reinforce their local security networks to prevent any external security breaches.

During the discussions, community representatives Atim Ateh and Matthias Ukwalebo raised concerns about the history of disappearing PHC equipment. They pointed fingers at personnel in charge of the facility, listing items such as 16 solar panels, two overhead tanks, patient beds, cradles, solar batteries, and two generators as some of the items stolen from the health center over the years.

The Obudu LGA PHC Coordinator clarified that the purported items were meant for repairs, not theft, as claimed by the villagers.

In response to the situation, the Health Commissioner established a 3-member Committee to investigate the matter. The Committee is led by the State Director of Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health, Mary Ingio, with the Director of State Primary Healthcare Development, Ekaette Ekpenyong, and Assistant Director of Health Systems and Donor Support, Obeten Ifere, as members.

Dr. Ayuk reiterated the government’s zero tolerance for theft, vandalism, and sabotage of government efforts to provide essential health services at the grassroots level. He emphasized that any government official found culpable would be sanctioned according to the State Civil Service rules.

The Commissioner charged the Investigation Committee with a diligent and impartial inquiry, highlighting the government’s commitment to setting a standard against vandalism, theft, and other detrimental practices in the health sector, using the Bebuabie Health Centre as an example.