Obonganwan Dora Ebong
A lifetime of service
Everything around Obonganwan Dora Ebong revolves around people, humanity and community service. Trained as a Pharmacist in the United States of America, Obonganwan Ebong on coming back to Nigeria, pioneered the setting up of outlets for pharmaceutical sales and marketing. She started Topcare Pharmacy and instantly became fondly known and addressed as Mma Topcare till date. At its height, Topcare, in partnership with foreign partners, started the manufacturing and distribution of its own brand of over-the- counter drugs.
Through the same Topcare, Obonganwan Dora delved into community services, embarking on several health care outreaches and missions, and the provision of care for vulnerable and challenged individuals, especially women in the society. She built a Topcare Mothers Lodge at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, because, according to her, ” as far as Akwa Ibom State is concerned, whoever is admitted in a hospital must have a female caretaker. It could be a mother,a sister, a wife, a daughter but on the average, it’s mostly women who care for the sick ones. That Lodge is for meant for them to stay, instead of loitering and sleeping on the hospital corridors and passages.” She has also built houses for widows and other challenged women.
Another passion she has is that of filling potholes on bad roads. Many at times, she has been ‘caught’ using her cars to load broken blocks and other materials, and personally dumping them on such spots around Uyo.
The alumnus of Etinan Institute, from Ikot Ekpeyak Ikono in Uyo Local Government Area has inspired so many into the medical profession: Two sisters are top-rated pharmacists in Uyo. Three neices are are specialists doctors in the US. In recognition of her impact, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria recognized and awarded her the National Pillar of Support for Young Pharmacists in 2010. The Akwa Ibom community in the US did same in 2012.
She was recently appointed Federal Commissioner at the Federal Character Commission, Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari. One of her first actions in her new role was to seek audience with the State Governor to map out ways the Akwa Ibom people across all political divides could benefit from her appointment.
Her services to humanity have been severally recognised and numerous awards and honours, including seven chieftaincy titles, prominent amongst which are Adiaha Ikono Ibom and Obong Uforo Uyo, conferred on her.