Dr.(Mrs) Arit Okokon. Charles Born in 1960, Dr (Mrs) Charles had her primary education at Holy Child Convent School, Calabar (1966-1971). She attended her secondary education at Holy Child Secondary School (1972-1975) and West African Peoples Institute (1976-1977), Calabar. She had her professional midwifery training at School of Midwifery (1978-1981), Calabar. She was offered appointment by University of Calabar Teaching Hospital in 1982 as staff Midwife and subsequently attended University of Calabar Teaching Hospital School of Nursing (1982-1984). Thereafter, she worked as a qualified midwife/staff Nurse in various wards and units of the hospital. Her ward experience was progressive and practical as follows: Staff Nurse/Midwife â€“ Maternity Section (1984) where she worked at Upper Block (Septic Ward). Later she was posted to Gynae Ward, Labour Ward, Ante-natal Ward and the Amenity Ward for added practical experience. She was soon transferred to Orthopedic Ward, Male Surgical Ward, the Main Operation Theater, Casualty Ward, Casualty Theatre, the Eye Clinic and the Eye Ward respectively. She virtually worked in all the wards and units in hospital for experience. During this period she was promoted to Nursing Sister (1990), and Senior Nursing Sister (1994). UCTH sponsored her to study Social Work at Diploma level at University of Calabar (1993-1996) and graduated at Merit level in 1996. She had admission to read BSc Social Work at the University of Calabar (1998-2002) where she graduated with BSc (Hons) 2nd Class Upper, as well as won the Best Graduating Student Award of the Department in Social Work (2002). In 1997 she was deployed to Medical Social Services Department as Senior Social Worker a post where her newly acquired skill was to be put to practical use alongside her many years of nursing experience. She took over the headship of the Department later that year and was promoted in 1998 to the rank of Principal Medical Social Worker. She was later admitted to read MSc Medical Sociology and graduated in 2006. Same year she enrolled for PhD Medical Sociology and graduated in 2010 on successfully defending a thesis titled â€Spiritualism, Traditionalism and Orthodoxy in Health Care: A Study of Health Care Options Among patients in the University Of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeriaâ€. Between 1998- 2016 she rose meritoriously from Principal Medical Social Worker to Ass. Chief Medical Social Worker (2002), Chief Medical Social Worker (2005), Ass. Director Medical Social Work (2009), Deputy Director, Medical Social Work (2013), and Director, Medical Social Work (2016). She retired from active service at UCTH in January 2017 and later that year was given a Contract Lecturing Appointment by the University of Calabar as Lecturer 1, Department of Social Work. During the headship/directorship of Medical Social Services Department, Dr (Mrs) Charles expanded the unit of only 3 staff to an enviable Directorate of over 40 staff with 17 units to render services to departments, units as well as patients especially support group services to the poor/indigent patients and those Living with HIV/AIDs. Units and service outlets established during her leadership include:-HCT, Adherence, Neuropsychiatry, Pediatrics, Accident and Emergency, Surgery, ophthalmology, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Internal Medicine, etc where staff were mentored and trained on the job. Committees were created on education (for workshops, seminars and conferences), welfare (for financial support and socials), outreach (for advocacy, home visits, tracking, social investigation ) and disciplinary Committee, were formed to drive the directorate. The Directorate became the envy of other departments/directorates in the hospital because of the esprit de corps and motivation for productivity implanted on staff because of her transformational leadership. With a Professor as a husband, friend, brother and teacher, Dr (Mrs) Charles has attended several conferences, workshops, seminars and trainings and co-authored many academic articles and published widely in local and international journals. Presently she has attended 44 conferences, seminars and workshops; taken part in 15 research projects and has co-published 19 academics articles in local and academic journals. Her research interests span HIV/AIDs, malaria, onchocerciasis, poverty, patient care, Health seeking behaviour and Tropical diseases and professional counseling. Scholarships/grants/awards include: Cross River State Ministry of Health In-Service training Award (1978-1981), University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Calabar In-Service Training Award (1982 â€“ 1984); University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar In-Service training (1993-1996); Award for the Best Graduating Student in Department of Sociology â€“ Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) 2001/2002; ELF Post Graduate Scholarship (2006); Fellow, Institute of Corporate Administration (2011); Fellow, Institute of Social Work of Nigeria (2013); Letter of Commendation from Management, University of Calabar Teaching hospital, as Best Focal Person Adherence/Counseling in Project Record Keeping among PEPFAR Sites in the Country, as adjudged by IHVN-Action Project Programme Evaluation, Abuja, Nigeria; May, 2013. Sundry Health Talks to Patients at UCTH, Department of Nursing Services- University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (1982-1997) include:-Pregnant women and anti-natal care, Nursing mothers and post-natal care, Maternal and child care, Child development and balanced diet, Utilization of family planning services and benefits, Grand-multiparity, risks and control of hemorrhage before and after labour, Aseptic midwifery techniques and eradication of neo-natal tetanus, Prolonged labour and neonatal asphyxia, Management and care of Malaria in pregnancy. Dr (Mrs) Charles has served in the following capacities:Head, Department of Social services, UCTH, Calabar (1997-DEC 2016), Member, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Emergency Team. 2003 Junior World Cup, Focal Person/Co-ordinator Adherence Counselling University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar. (2005 â€“ DEC 2016),Facilitator, Orientation Week for Freshmen, University of Calabar, Calabar, 2006/2007 Session, Member, Medical Board, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar (2006- DEC 2016), A Resource Person in the Appointment Interview for Principal Social Worker, Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar. 24th â€“ 25th October, 2006, Member, Ethical Committee, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar. 2006 - 2011,Member, Senior Administrative Board, (2006- DEC 2016), Member, Medical Advisory Committee, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar. (1998- DEC 2016), Member, Medical Board, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar. (2006 - DEC 2016), Resource Person, Orientation for Freshmen, University of Calabar, 2006, Member, Investigation Panel to Investigate the Complaints by Patients in Ward 3 (male orthopedic ward). June, 2007, Member, Expanded Management Committee, UCTH, 2009- DEC 2016), Member, Editorial Board of UCTH News Letter, (2011- DEC 2016), Chairman, Panel to Investigate Fraudulent activities/Impersonation of Staff (2011 and 2014).
Member, Parastatal SERVICOM Committee, UCTH, (2013- DEC 2016).
Membership of learned and professional associations include the following:- Member, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwifes (NANNM); Member, Association of Medical Social Workers of Nigeria (AMSWON); Member, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria; Fellow, Institute of Social Work of Nigeria (ISOWN); Member, Pan African Anthropological Association (PAAA). Talks and outreach by Dr (/Mrs) Charles include â€œHIV/AIDs awareness and care of those Living with HIV/AIDs delivered at 2006/2007 Freshmen Orientation Week, University of Calabar, Nigeria; Voluntary distribution of condoms in communities; Distribution of water guards in communities; Distribution of mosquito nets in communities; Awareness Campaigns and Advocacy on HIV/AIDs at various communities in Calabar Metropolis and Rural Communities (2005-2016); Awareness campaigns in the use of mosquito nets in communities. Dr (Mrs) Charles is married with three children. Her hobby/interest is home-keeping and research/outreach/community mobilization.