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The wife of Cross River State Governor and Initiator/President, Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF), Dr. (Mrs.) Linda Ayade, has expressed appreciation to some friends and organizations that have made the journey of MDF an easy one in the State.

Declaring open the first official office of MDF and the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency in Calabar, the Initiator/President of MDF, Dr. Linda Ayade stated that "I was perplexed when I first realized the vastness and enormity of the health, social and economic needs that I was undertaking to address in our teeming, vulnerable population, but these persons and organizations have convinced me that incredible achievements can be recorded no matter how daunting it might seem at first. One only needs to find the right set of people to partner with and any goal will become attainable".
According to her, MDF is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and relies on partnership, adding that the organization has been able to reach out to people at the grassroots, especially those with difficult terrains who have to walk for hours to access health facilities.

She therefore used the occasion to express thanks to all stakeholders in the health sector who have been very supportive, of MDF, especially Ministry of Health, CRSPHCDA, UN organizations, FHI 360, UNICEF, CUSO International, Pathfinder, amongst others. She added that the CRSPHCDA and its Director-General, Dr. Betta Edu have been formidable allies, without whom, MDF could not have achieved much.

Dr. Ayade thanked all those who found time to come and grace the occasion and for all the pledges made to further support a continuous, healthy and workable partnership in the coming years. She maintained that government is doing its best but there is still more to be done by individuals, for there is need to bridge the gap in order to reach out to people whom she described as "fringes of the fibre who are just hanging out there", which according to her, is what MDF is doing at the moment.

The Governor's wife further said that she felt happy and honoured for all the support and prayers she received from friends and partners adding that she loves all of them and that it is with great joy that she officially opens the office of MDF, while thanking all for helping to make the day worthwhile.

Also speaking, the Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo and the Chairman, House Committee on Health, CRS House of Assembly, Hon. Dr. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, congratulated the wife of the State Governor and commended her for her laudable programmes and achievements in improving the lives of Cross Riverians, especially the women and children through her NGO, while describing her as a model, creative, focused and Caring. They also commended her areas of focus in MDF and enjoined all stakeholders and government to support her, they also pledged the support of the State House of Assembly in all her programmes, especially in the area of Health through advocacy and town hall meetings in order to sensitize the people on the need to take advantage of all the packages available for them in MDF. According to the Speaker, what MDF is doing is one of their points as democratic dividends during their campaign.

In their remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, the Chief Medical Director, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Dr. Thomas Agan and the Chairman, Medical and Health Workers' Union congratulated Dr. Ayade on the official opening of MDF office. They commended her initiatives in touching the lives of people in CRS, adding that, they have been working together and are at the forefront of promoting healthcare in the State. They called on all to rise and support Dr. Ayade in all her programmes.

The Commissioner for Health disclosed that 70% of MDF's work is about health, and that, MDF is also about financial empowerment through CROWEI. They commended the DG-CRSPHCDA, Dr. Betta Edu for a job well done in sharpening the Primary Healthcare.

In his remarks, the State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Ushie, stressed that workers are up on their feet working tirelessly and thanked the State Governor for establishing the Development Agency of the Primary healthcare, while pledging their continued support to Prof. Ben Ayade and his dear wife Linda in all their programmes.

In the same vein, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Stella Odey, and the Commissioner, Ministry of International Development Co-operation, Mr.Francis Etta, congratulated Dr. Ayade for making CRS proud by putting together an NGO of International Standard which is historical and thanked her for all her laudable initiatives, touching the lives of the rural dwellers, as well as improving the lives amongst others.

Hon. Stella Odey described Dr. Ayade as the greatest mobilizer who believes that a woman must be beside a successful man in order to achieve much, adding that Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade did not make a mistake in choosing her as a dear wife. The Commissioners therefore pledged to continue collaborating with Dr. Ayade in all her programmes, while wishing MDF long live as they continue in all aspects of their endeavours.

Earlier, the Director-General, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu, expressed thanks to the wife of the Governor for her passion and personal commitment to the health and welfare needs of women and children in the State.

According to her, "there is nothing stronger than when passion meets with opportunity and is garnished with empathy", adding that, Dr. Ayade has done a lot in giving meaning and hope to Cross River women and children.

Dr. Edu also expressed appreciation to the State Governor, Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade for the establishment and commissioning of the CRSPHCDA which she said is the best performing in the country.

In a vote of thanks, the Executive Director, Mediatrix Development Foundation, Mr. Jeffrey Adamade used the occasion to express appreciation to all present for finding time to grace the occasion. He thanked Dr. Ayade for all her support and personal commitment in ensuring the success of MDF since 2015.

Highlights of the ceremony include; goodwill messages from friends, development partners, stakeholders in the health sector, official cutting of tape to declare open the offices of MDF  and CRSPHCDA by Dr. Linda Ayade, donation of drugs to Primary Health Care centers of the southern senatorial districts by the wife of the Governor, inspection tour of the offices, amongst others.
The ceremony attracted dignitaries, friends, and partners from within and outside the State.

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Calabar, CRS.

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