Reigners Church Tragedy: How Ibom Specialist Hospital rescued Children

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A staff with the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA Uyo, Mr. Uko Ima, has every reason to remain eternally grateful first to God almighty, and secondly, the Ibom Specialist Hospital built by the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

His two children; a boy, little Master David Uko Ima, who is two and a half year old and a little girl, Benita Uko Ima who were victims of the black Saturday, 10th December, 2016 where the Reigners Bible Church collapsed on worshippers during the bishopric enthronement of their church General Overseer, Apostle Akan Weeks, are a living testimony of the Amazing grace of God.

Giving details of the tragic incident to members of a fact finding investigation team from the Forum of Independent Newspaper Publishers in the state who were at the hospital to ascertain the actual figures of victims both dead and alive from the casualty, the father of the children, Mr. Uko Ima who was with them alongside the wife in the church and baby, during the Unfortunate incident, said the building collapsed on his children, inflicting deep injury on the head and other parts of the body. While, the two children were affected, the father and mother who were also trapped in the building, were not hurt.

5 year old Benita Uko Ima sustained head injury, the 2 and a half year old David, had a fracture on the right hand and a deep cut on head. Of the three children he has, two were affected, while the other was not hurt.

Explaining the medical attention given to the children by the hospital, the Contract Manager of Ibom Specialist hospital, Mr. Solomon Osakwe said successful surgical operations were carried out on their head by doctors, adding that they are in stable condition.

During surgical operation on David’s fractured head, a pipe was inserted to drain out clotted blood. The operation which was carried out on them immediately they arrived the hospital, was done by the hospital surgeons.

Responding to enquires by the investigating team, the father of the kids, Mr. Uko Ima who is also a member of the Reigners church expressed satisfaction at the quality of service delivery and expertise exhibited by medical personnel at the Specialist hospital .

”If not for Ibom specialist Hospital, it would have been worse”. I have to thank former Governor Godswill Akpabio for having the inspiration to bring this hospital to the state. For such a heavy metal made of steel enforcement to fall on these children and they survived, it is a miracle” .

The fact finding team observed that the kids were responding to treatment.

Briefing the team, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Yemi Johnson disclosed that more than one hundred patients who were victims of the building were admitted into the facility for treatment, explaining that 30 had surgery operations carried out on them, 20 received attention at orthopaedic unit, while 15 were neurosurgery cases and have all been treated.

Clearing air on the cause of the inflated figure of casualty, Dr. Yemi explained that patients who were taken to a particular hospital had to registered, and upon transfer to another health facility, same registration process has to be done, saying that may have accepted for why the figures were erroneously bandied as actual figure as reported in some media houses. He said two patients who were brought to the Specialist hospital from another health facility, were already dead on arrival at the hospital.

The CMD told the fact finding team that out of the 65 patients admitted at the hospital initially only two death cases were recorded in the health facility, saying “about 99 percent of patients treated by us are alive”.

Members of the team from the Independent newspaper publishers include: Mr. Unyime Ekwere of Global Concord; Mr. Ernest Akpan of the Town Crier Newspaper; Mr. Ofonime Isong of Prime Voice Newspaper; Barr. David Augustine, Insight Newspaper; Franklyn Isong, Radar Newspaper; Mfonobong Ukpong of Global Pilot; Nsibiet John of the INK Newspaper; Bonny Nyong of Sermon Newspaper; Kufre Edet of the Global Accord Newspaper; and Idongesit Essien of Channels TV.

The team visited the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, and other health facilities. The tour continues tomorrow.

The essence of the fact finding mission is to ascertain the actual figures of victims of the church building collapse in the light of conflicting reports from some media houses which has generated much concern from members of the public

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