The chief medical superintendent of QIC Leprosy Hospital, Ekpene Obom in Etinan local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Dr Charles Ekandem has appealed to Nigerians to stop stigmatizing leprosy victims as the practice has remained an age-long trauma patients have been battling with.
Speaking while receiving the new President of Rotary Club of Uyo Metropolis, Mr Ini Ememobong, to the hospital, Dr Ekandem said that stigmatization and discrimination by the society, including friends and relations, were the twin hurdles militating against physical and psychological recovery of leprosy victims in the country.
Ekandem who extolled the exemplary lifestyle of Ememobong as synonymous with the ideals and goals of the Rotary Club which he was now a pointman used the opportunity to solicit support from government, donor agencies and individuals to continue to provide medical services to leprosy victims in the state.
Mr Ini Ememobong who is also Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, emerged the 15th President of the Rotary club of Uyo Metropolis and was officially installed to the position in a colourful ceremony at Emerald Event Center, along Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo on Thursday evening to takevover from Rtn Ubong Jeremiah, who had held the mantle of leadership since 1st July 2020.
In his acceptance speech captioned “Behold, a great door of service opens, Ememobong declared human service as highest religion, and work for the common good, the greatest creed.
While pledging his commitment to invest time, energy, resources and talent to the service of Rotary Club of Uyo metropolis, Rotary club International and humanity in general, the commissioner stressed; “Rotary is an excellent vehicle that drives on the expressway of service to humanity and for about a decade, I have witnessed Rotary through Rotarians, put smiles on million of faces, save lives, protect the environment, advance the course of global peace, etc”.
The new president had earlier performing his first official humanitarian services as part of activities to mark his installation, by leading some members of the Rotary International, District 9142 to the QIC Leprosy Hospital, Ekpene Obom in Etinan LGA, Government Primary School, Afaha Ubeh Itam and Christ the King Catholic School, Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo.
At the Leprosy Hospital in Ekpene Obom, Ememobong, donated relieve materials and work tools ranging from vulcanising machine, sewing machine and hair clippers to some of the inmates who were earlier trained on some vocational skills.
Ememobong assured the hospital management that The Rotary Club of Uyo Metropolis would, during his tenure continue to partner the hospital to fast-track humanitarian services to the leprosy patients, as well as similar health service providers in the state
The team also later donated to Government Primary School, Afaha Ubeh Itam, a wash-in-school facility, and fifty dual decks, to boost the teaching and learning conditions of the pupils, just it planted of 15 stands of coconut trees at Government Primary School, Afaha Ubeh Itam and another 15 stands at CKC, Willington Bassey Way in Uyo Metropolis, and made a donation of additional fifty dual desks as part of Rotary Club’s support to the free and compulsory education policy of the state government.