The Akwa Ibom state government has given cash gifts to a taxi driver and his passenger for saving the life of a 54-year old woman who was travelling in the same vehicle with them in November last year.

The cab driver, Ifiok Obot, and his passenger Mr Inieyo Akpan had helped the middle-aged woman, Mrs Maria Effiong Bassey regain consciousness after she passed out while travelling from Uyo to Eket.

The incident occurred on Thursday, November 8, 2018. According to a press statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Health, Obot and Akpan had rushed Mrs Bassey to the hospital where she was eventually revived.

“About 15 minutes after the female passenger (Maria Effiong Bassey) a Principal of Unity International Schools, Obo Ntong, in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, who resides at Champion Breweries Estate, Uyo boarded the taxi she fell into a deep sleep.

“She was said to become drowsy and incoherent in her speech when requested to pay her transport fare. Midway, she was not responding to calls or any commands and so these two gentlemen decided to look for the nearest health facility along the route.

“The two Samaritan from Akwa-Ibom State decided to take her to Immanuel General Hospital Eket, after an attempt to get her treated at two hospitals earlier failed. They got her admitted, paid a deposit for her treatment, then proceeded to report the incident at the Eket Police Station”, the statement added.

The statement further explained that Akpan was able to get in contact with her family members by posting her photograph on Facebook after it became difficult to get in touch with them as Mrs Bassey had no form of identification on her.

It added that it was when Mrs Bassey’s daughter arrived at the hospital at about 8.30pm the same day that her identity became known. Presenting the cash rewards to the taxi driver Ifiok Obot and Inieyo Akpan on behalf of state government, last weekend, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, said the gesture demonstrates that Akwa Ibom state government also encourages rewards for hard work and humanitarian services outside the Civil service.

Dr Ukpong who identified compassion as a major criterion for health workers in the State disclosed that Governor Udom Emmanuel has approved special awards for Student Nurses who show passion and delivering health care services in the state.

According to Ukpong, “The selection of beneficiaries for the scholarship will be based on academic performance, discipline, empathy, kind disposition, dedication to duty and above all good character, and the award shall span for the three-year duration of their
studies”.

In a brief remark, the Permanent Secretary, Hospital Management Board Mrs Stella Etukakpan said it was deserving to thank and appreciate the Akwa Ibom indigenes who exhibited a high sense of patriotism and humanitarian services by saving an unconscious woman.

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