The Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital UATH Gwagwalada, Professor Bissallah Ekele has enjoined more public spirited bodies to support the health sector in Nigeria in the area of provision of health care services.
He made this statement in an address during the commissioning of a 20 bedded new building donated by the Abuja Metropolitan Lions Club AMLC, District 404 A2 named ‘Pediatrics Cancer Complex’ to the Hospital.
‘This is history in the making, because this is the first time a non governmental organisation (NGO) has constructed such a centre in the nearly 30 years of existence of the Hospital.’
‘And that this project intends to bring succour to one of the most vulnerable groups in the society (children with cancer), is quite commendable and we cannot thank the AMLC enough.’ The CMD said.
He said the novel gesture is one of it’s kind since the inception of the Hospital 30 years ago, came at a time when the growing need for financial, accommodation and other pressing need of pediatric oncology children is in high demand, because of the strategic roles the hospital is playing and it’s location.
According to the Chief Medical Director,
‘The hospital truly needs such support for the volumes of indigent patients that patronise us is high,the number of unknown accidents victims on admission is high,we are also the destination choice for patients from the correctional facilitities around us. the list is long.’
‘But with this gesture from Lions Club,we can now accommodate more of such patients.’
Professor Bissala Ekele maintained the need for more government supports in all areas and to ensure the full utilisation of the newly donated Pediatric oncology centre.
‘We also have well- trained,experts in the management of cancers,but amametarium of treatment-an appeal that we want to leave at the door steps of the Honourable Minister, in case any development partner indicates interest to assist in that direction.’ Professor Ekele said.’
‘Our Hospital location at the outskirts of the Abuja city centre might be considered a disadvantage,but that is no longer the case because as they say, A golden fish has no hiding place’.He further said.
Earlier the Board Chairman of the Hospital,Dr Sam Sam Jaja demanded for more government attention to the teaching hospital as the flagship and health care provider with location at the seat of government,Abuja among many other burdens attached to it’s location.
In his speech at the occassion,the donor NGO President,Lion Charles Jestus Opusunju said the decision to increase the bed space for cancer children in the hospital from (2) to (20) with the donation of a new structure,was borne out of humanitatian gestures.
He promised to provide working tools and equipment that will bring the new ward into optimum use,as well as beautification of the hospital environment and other selfless services.
Head of Department,pediatric of the hospital,Dr Onailo,thanked the NGO for the timely completion,quality of job carried out by the body,saying it will encourage medical personal in carrying out their basic functions.
In his speech,The Minister of Health,Dr Emmanuel Osagie Ehanire expressed worry on the financial burden attached to treatment and management of cancer patients in Nigeria,that is made unbearable when children are involved.
He described the decision of the Lions Club as laudable,saying the body was known for such selfless and social services both within and outside the shores of Nigeria from time immemorial .
He said the federal government has made concerted effort to address the growing cases of cancer in Nigeria,saying plans have been concluded to renovate or build one Primary Health Centre PHC in all parts of the country, to address basic health demands, particularly health education and information.
Dr Ehanire promised to attract more equipment to the hospital and the new centre, while he announced the donation of a new machine to the new pediatric cancer centre to assist in the management and diagnosis of the children with cancer.