In June 2018, a mammoth crowd gathered at Afua Community in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, to witness the commissioning of Joseph Ukpo Hospitals and Research Institutes (JUHRI) – our partner organisation, whose mission is to provide free and high-quality healthcare to all, especially in rural communities, where most people are too poor to pay for such services.
A year later, on the 8th of June 2019, a large crowd converged on Afua to mark the 1st Anniversary of JUHRI. The highlight of this event was the commissioning of JUHRI’s first General Surgery Room named after Professor Akpan Asuquo Otu, who incidentally was the late father of FHIND’s Executive Director and JUHRI’s Volunteer General Medical Director, Dr Akaninyene Otu. The event was graced by JUHRI’s eponym, Archbishop Joseph Ukpo, who blessed the new surgery room and Dr Mrs Obal Otu, wife of late Prof Otu, who unveiled the General Surgery Room in the company of several other members of the Otu family.
Professor A.A. Otu who passed away in July 2018, was a world-renowned surgeon, immunologist and academician who made sterling contributions to the field of medicine.
Other highpoints of the event were:
- Cutting of the birthday cake in celebration of Archbishop Ukpo’s 82nd birthday;
- Presentation of a keynote address by Dr Victor Umoh, FHIND’s Data Manager who is also the Volunteer Medical Director for JUHRI Afua site;
- JUHRI’s 9th Medical Outreach led by JUHRI’s Mobile Clinic Director, Dr Anthonia Ikpeme during which 357 patients received 100% free medical care.
- The 10th Free Medical Outreach took place the following weekend, on the 15th of June 2019, at JUHRI’s second site situated in Esuk Mbat Community of Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Cross River State, where FHIND’s Research Manager, Dr Emmanuel Effa, is the Volunteer Medical Director.
Volunteering our services to JUHRI is one of several ways we fulfil our mission in FHIND, which is to promote research, innovation and service development through sustained improvement of health systems and services; especially for vulnerable underserved groups.