Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River on Friday inaugurated a N2.5 billion medical facility built by Jennifer Etuh foundation in Ochon, Obubra Local Government Area of the state.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Henry Ayuk, Otu commended Mr Thomas Etuh ,who built the medical facility in memory of his late wife, Jennifer Etuh.
He pledged the support of the state government to ensure sustainability of the facility.
While reiterating his administration’s resolve to revolutionise health services in the state, Otu said that the new medical facility would be incorporated into state health insurance policy ,to enable residents of the area access the facility.
“For what we have seen of the facility and to enable our people afford it, we will incorporate the health insurance policy here.
“Also, in our resolve to improve on health services across the state, we have increased the budgetary allocation to health from six percent to 13.5 percent in the 2024 budget,” he said.
Etuh ,who is the chairman of the foundation, said the facility in Ochon was the fifth to be built by the foundation within the the last two years.
He said medical facility as well as similar ones built in other parts of the country was in fulfillment of the promise made to his late wife in her last moments.
He noted that while the centre would be handed over to a church or an organisation for effective management, the foundation would continue to maintain the facilities at the centre.
“On her sick bed, my late wife requested that I build health facility in each of the six geo-political zone to specifically provide health services for the rural people.
“This particular one in Ochon is also a request she made, in memory of her late friend, who is from here.” he said.
Also speaking, the Vice- Chairman of the foundation, Mrs Sarah Omakwu described late Jennifer Etuh as light that had continued to impact the lives of those she left behind.
Mr Liyel Imoke, a former governor of the state, while commending the foundation for providing the facility, called for the collaboration of all to tackle the challenges faced by rural communities.
He noted that the challenges in rural communities were too huge to be handled alone either by the government or private sector.
Imoke stressed that the Jennifer Etuh Medical Centre would serve the health needs of the agrarian communities in the council area and beyond.
The former governor ,however, urged the people to take ownership of the facility.
“This community has been yearning for development and you have, with this facility, brought development to the people.
“It is not everything that can be fixed by government alone or private organisations, they need each to serve the challenges of our communities,” he stated.