The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon- Abasi V, has pledged his commitment to assist the Crose River Ministry of Health in the fight against medical quackery in the state. Okon-Abasi said this on Saturday in Calabar when the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, paid him a courtesy call in his palace.
The Obong, who said that quackery has caused serious medical destruction to many residents in the state, applauded the Commissioner for taking the giant steps to eradicate the norm.
“I welcome you and your team on behalf of my traditional council members to my palace and also commend you for your tremendous achievements in the health sector, especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic. “I sincerely appreciate you for this vision as it’s timely and very consequential, judging from the ills that this menace has brought about, leading to a high number of diseases as well as deaths.
“I therefore give my full support and blessings, especially as these quacks reside in our domains. I call on all Traditional Rulers as well as communities in the state to join this fight and all culprits be brought to book and made to face the law. “Even though we have got many other health challenges, I will advice that we take them one step at a time with a great working relationship between the government and the traditional rulers council your team will succeed,” he said.
He therefore, called for immediate action against quackery, saying that the fight to end the norm was overdue. Earlier, the Commissioner informed the Obong of Calabar and his Council of Chiefs that the courtesy visit was to inform and seek their support on the government’s decision to sanitize the health sector by flushing out quacks and make them face the wrath of the law.
Dr Edu told the Obong that the Government of Cross River State appreciates his tremendous support to the health sector and for being a voice to sensitize the masses on health issues.
She said that as a result of the high rate of influx of quacks into the state, the governor instructed that the health sector be thoroughly sanitized and all illegal and quack practices be brought to a halt and culprits be made to face the wrath of the law.
“As the custodian of our tradition and the traditional head of our people, we thought it wise to solicit for your blessings and support to carryout this special assignment.
“Our people are dying in numbers due to this illicit act and it’s affecting the health system as we have people running hospitals, chemists and pharmacies without license and people who even perform surgeries inside their rooms.
“Some of them are selling ‘one drug cures all’, and some doing jobs beyond the scope of their professions and so on.
“In a bid to sanitize the health system, Gov. Ben Ayade therefore ordered that this situation be brought to an end,” she said. She added that anyone caught in the illegal act will be made to face the wrath of the law. She said that the Ministry has legal backing from the legislature, security and judicial arms of government in the fight against quackery in the state.