Ipalibo Banigo pledges support for Rivers Red Cross …As PH Red Cross launches ambulance services plan



By Brave Dickson





The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr Ipalibo Banigo has pledged her support for the Port Harcourt Division of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, in the state.



The deputy governor’s pledge was contained in a statement by her representative, Ben Robert at an event organized by the Port Harcourt Division of the Red Cross during the launching of its free ambulance services in Port Harcourt, the state capital.



Banigo acknowledged the important roles played by the Red Cross officials in saving lives and assured them of the state government’s willingness in supporting them when necessary.



Also, the state sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) represented by Sunny Ejebor told the Red Cross officials not to hesitate in reporting erring treatment centres for sanctioning.



He said, “it is an offence for a hospital, clinic or any licensed treatment centre not to immediately attend to an emergency patient brought by Red Cross officials.



“We have seen cases where some treatment centres had refused to commence immediate treatment on a dying patient brought by authorized life saving officials like Red Cross just because no police report was tendered or initial cash deposit given.



“We will make sure that such medical centre is sanctioned because by law, once authorized life saving officials take an emergency patient to a treatment centre, immediate attention should be given to such patient.



“On behalf of the state Federal Road Safety Corps, we really appreciate your efforts aimed at saving lives.



“You may not have the financial reward now, but you will enjoy divine health and safety including your families.



“The importance of ambulance can not be over emphasized. It helps in saving lives a lot and you really need ambulance in your operations.



“As for the state sector command of FRSC, we will continue to partner with you and give you full support in your quest to save lives.



In his address, the Chairman of the Port Harcourt Division, Dr Bernard Edobor said Red Cross has capable personnel, adding that “we are somehow handicapped because we don’t have ambulances to do our jobs. And that is where we really want the government to come in and assist us.



“We quite understand that it is the responsibility of the government to provide safety and welfare of its citizens but to us as Red Cross officials, we will continue to assist in complementing the life saving efforts of the government.



“We really need to meet the needs of the locals, those who actually need our help, hence, support from the government and other spirited individuals and bodies will go a long way.”



Some officials of the PH Division of the state Red Cross Society in attendance were: Vice Chairman, Owunari West; Heath and safety Adviser, Tubotamuno Sydney-Jack; Branch Legal Adviser, Barr Elvis Ndubuisi Ugorgi; Secretary, Mina Johnbull; Treasurer, Joachim Egbebuna as well as Communication and Advocacy, Suleman Okesina among others.



Highlights of the event included: guard of honour inspection, induction of new officers and the presentation of the division’s annual general meeting report.