By Peter Duru
50,000 others get free medical care in 100 council wards in seven months
Makurdi – Over 500 indigent Benue women have been trained in various skills, arts and craft and empowered to start up businesses of their own by the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF, a pet project of the Wife of the state Governor, Dr. Eunice Ortom.
The skills acquisition training which was done in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, had the beneficiaries engaged in various vocational training including fashion designing, bakery, hairdressing and several others which lasted three months.
Speaking in Otukpo to mark the close out ceremony of the programme across the state, the Programme Manager of ESLF, Mr. Tine Agernor said the skills acquisition programme was one of the outcomes of the 2016/2017 Benue Women Economic Summit hosted by the Wife of the Governor.
Agena said “the beneficiaries who were drawn from 17 local government areas of the state have been empowered to become economically and financially independent and ultimately we want to see a replication of what is happening in Aba in Benue state.”
The Programme Manager who stated that the training was a continuous exercise urged the beneficiaries who were visited in their various places of training, to put to good use the skills acquired in order to improve their sources of livelihood.
Earlier, the Chairman of Otukpo local government area, Mr. George Alli commended the Governor’s wife for initiating the programme stressing that “it would go a long way to liberate the beneficiaries from the shackles of poverty.”
Represented by his Vice, Adakonye Inalegwu, the chairman said his administration had emulated the wife of the Governor by initiating similar programme in the council to improve the livelihood of widows and the vulnerable.
Some of the beneficiaries of the intensive training including Joy Echo said the training had lifted beneficiaries from poverty to wealth.
“What we have learnt in the last three months would help us find our footing in the society and by so doing improve our livelihood and that of our families.
“The only way we can appreciate Dr. Mrs. Ortom is to continue to fervently pray for her and her family, support them in the political endeavor and also put out training to good use so as not to disappoint her for all her labour of love for the needy in the state,” she said.
Meanwhile ESLF has celebrated the attainment of free medical outreach in the 100th of the 276 council wards in the state, reaching out to over 50,000 patients and beneficiaries.
Programme Manager of the Foundation, Mr. Tine Agernor who made this known stated that the feat was attained at Agir council ward in Ushongo local government area of the state at the ongoing free medical outreach across the state.
He stated that “with the development Ushongo is the ninth local government to benefit from the programme which was flagged off at Utonkon, Ado local government area in March 2018.
“So far over 50,000 patients have benefited from the programme and the figure would increase by the time the exercise would be concluded in Ushongo.”
He commended the people of the area for their orderliness during the exercise adding that staff of the health department, other volunteers, partners and stakeholders for their cooperation and support.
Agernor stated that the two teams participating in the outreach included 12 doctors, 16 nurses, community volunteers, security personnel and drivers.
Beneficiaries including the kindred head of Mbawuanyi, Chief Shija Ayaku, Tavershima Nema and Nyieyima Tijime lauded the Governor’s wife for initiating the programme and appealed to other prominent Nigerians to emulate her.
Officer in charge of the Comprehensive Health Centre, Wuapera, Mrs. Avershiama Antiev, appealed that the outreach should be sustained and expressed surprise at the large turn out of patients who hitherto could not patronize the centre because of financial constraints.