Renowned cardiologist, Dr. Esther Ekwe, of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, has been inaugurated the 15th President of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN).
The installation had a touch of class, as the 3,000-capacity international conference hall of the Oaklands Events Centre Enugu, was filled with guests from within and outside the country.
Ekwe had the full complement of all national officers and executive members of both the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) and that of the male folk, the umbrella body, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), as well as government officials and captains of industry.
Ekwe, the only daughter of her late parents, Chief Valentine Ibeh and Mrs. Patricia Ibe of Mgbowo, in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, had the honour of having members from all states of Nigeria and Abuja at her investiture, as the 2016 national council meeting of the association coincided with the historic event in Enugu.
The gathering of the cream of the medical profession attracted the international president of Medical Women’s Association, Prof. Kyung Ah Park, represented by the national president of Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Dr. Echendu Dolly Adinma, the national president-elect of the women body, Dr. Joyce Barber, the national president of Nigeria Medical Association, represented by the award winning chairman of the Enugu State branch, Dr. George Ugwu and the chairman of the medical advisory council of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Dr. Obinna Onodugo.
The roll call of dignitaries at the event was endless, as it also featured the chairman of Association of Resident Doctors at the UNTH, Dr. Ikechukwu Oraegbunam and his counterpart at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu, Igwe Dr. Ikeabbah Henry, Dr. Chukwuma Oraegbunam, the national president elect of Association of Resident Doctors, Igwe Onyebueze John, the group chairman of Buzuzu construction company, Port-Harcourt, and the Prince of Mburubu, Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, Lawrence Ezeh, who was honoured at the occasion, the former chairman of Nkanu East Local Government area of Enugu State, Hon. Frank Anioma and numerous others.
Speaking shortly after she was decorated by the national president of Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Dr. Echendu Dolly Adinma, to the admiration of the audience, the new present of the Enugu State branch of Medical Women’s Association, Ekwe, said that the Medical Women’s Association, founded in 1976, was a non-governmental organization, non-profit, non-sectarian organization of female medical and dental doctors in Nigeria and a subsidiary of Medical Women International and has been in the forefront of efforts aimed at improving the health of the community through education, public enlightenment and health campaigns, concerted efforts at providing affordable screening for communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Ekwe, who graduated from the University of Nigeria in 1998, further explained that the women body was therefore a coalition of concerned women who are bothered about family health, with special emphasis on women and the girl-child.
She continued: “In this regard, we have successfully and consistently executed tailor-suited health programmes that urgently address the health challenges of the average woman, such as the breast and cervical cancer screening which aimed at early detection and control, and this has necessitated the printing and distribution of awareness handbills and leaflets to communities, markets and health care centres throughout the country.
According to the new Enugu State MWAN boss, “this, we have vigorously pursued and poised to do more with the wind-wisdom of our predecessors, more enabling environment from government and support from all and sundry. This event grants us the opportunity of a lifetime to renew our commitment to the collective health struggles women face and a platform to galvanise more support to do more than we ever imagined possible, and together we can do it and together we will do it.”
Ekwe, said that in addition to ongoing campaigns and awareness programmes and in line with their guiding theme – promoting gender equality and women empowerment, beyond 2016, members of the group would intensify effort towards eliminating legal and socio-cultural barriers to women empowerment canvass for the health of women and children in conflict situations and put more efforts at reducing the scourge of breast and other gynaecologic cancers in Nigeria, starting from the south-east zone of the country.
In line with the tradition of such events, the medical women association presented awards to three eminent Nigerians who have made huge contributions to nation building, especially at the community level.
The awardees were the Prince of Mbrubu in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, Lawrence Ezeh, Ugoeze Hildegard Ebigbo, the founder of the Therapeutic Schools in Enugu and famous paediatric surgeon, Prof. Emeritus Nene Obianyo of UNTH Enugu.
While Ezeh was honoured with the association’s 2016 Gold Merit Award for philanthropy, community development and for the reconstruction of three bridges that had kept over six large communities in the area in bondage for over 107 years, Ugoeze Hildegard Maria Ebigbo, wife of former deputy vice chancellor of the university, Enugu Campus, Prof. Emeritus Peter Ebigbo, bagged the award for training, rehabilitating and empowering over 200,000 handicapped and normal children since 1979 in her Therapeutic schools in Nigeria.
Renowned Prof. Emeritus Nene Obianyo, was recognized for her feat in medicine, especially for her role in the first separation of Siemens’ twins in Africa in 1976.
By: Chris Oji
The Nation News