By Doris Obinna
Saturday, June 19, 2021, would remain memorable to people of Ijede community, in Ikorodu, Lagos, as St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital (SRDMSH) celebrated its 10th anniversary and inauguration of ultra-modern intensive care unit and orthopaedic theatre C-arm.
Obas of Ikorodu and their cabinet as well as natives and residents of Ijede community graced the colourful event.
The ceremony, which commenced with the a Holy Mass at the St. Raphael Catholic Church, was officiated by the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins.
In his homily, the Bishop said: “We appreciate all those who bought into the project and supported it with their own idea, expertise, money and time. And also, all those who were there at the initial stage of the life of the hospital, the pioneer staff, those men and women who bore all the heat of the challenges that accompany new beginning.
“Every new beginning has challenges. These pioneer staff bore the heat of the early challenges, we thank God for them and we thank them all for making themselves available to be pioneers to witness the blessings that only God can give to those who serve the common goal. Those who serve the common goal enjoy the total blessings from God, especially to their people and commitment in carrying them out.”
The Bishop also noted that the intensive care unit and orthopaedic theatre C-arm were part of the upgrade of the facility to meet the commitment of the hospital management to raise the service capacity of missionary hospitals to international standards and save life, adding that the project would complement the effort of the hardworking and dedicated personnel in the hospital to save more lives.
He, however, urged the management to keep seeking well-trained medical personnel who were knowledgeable in modern medical practices, and also be mindful of the impact they make in the lives of poor and frail patients.
He said: “The hospital considers itself a partner with the state government in providing quality healthcare to the people. Going forward, we are working to ensure the provision of state-of-the-art treatment for cancer patients so that they won’t need to travel abroad. We are already in touch with medical experts from India to collaborate and learn from them.
“We are also working towards establishing a college of medicine for us to be able to impart knowledge and hope that this hospital will be ready to provide teaching hospital service.”
SRDMSH, which is an arm of St. Raphael Catholic Church, was founded by His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, to cater for the poor around the suburbs of Ikorodu.
According to Okogie, the name Divine Mercy Hospital, came up because it was purposefully meant to cater for the poor and also, as it is the period that the Divine Mercy prayer was becoming a major practice in the Church.
“It will interest you to know that there was only one primary health centre in Ikorodu at the time. The place was like a satellite town.
“The poor ones living around then would come all the way to the heart of Lagos to receive medical attention. More so, there was a need for a good/major hospital owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Lagos.
“For this reasons, the hospital was built at that time to close the gap in Ikorodu. Among our intentions for the hospital, profit-making was not considered a factor. More so, there are so many modern-day hospitals in these other places. Ikorodu had no good medical facility at that period. SRDMSH’s commitment to excellence has resulted in many accomplishments over the past 10 years.”
Okogie, recounting the initial struggle, said they were faced with paucity of funds. “But, coming from that turbulent history, I am glad that today, the hospital has better facilities, more qualitative personnel, etcetera.”
Speaking ofOn his expectations, Okogie said: “We believe the hospital will gain more grounds in the next 10 years. I recognise that the hospital is still evolving. With the recent acquisition of some state-of-the-art facilities and engagement of specialist qualified personnel, I would measure the hospital’s improvement to about 40 per cent from where they used to be.”
Pioneer medical director of SRDMSH, Dr. Cecilia Omeife, solicited support for the country’s health sector, saying the government alone cannot provide quality health care for the people.
Omeife said: “I must appreciate the effort of the current management team of the hospital in not only maintaining the standard we put in place from the onset but have made great strides to improve upon it. We all know government alone cannot provide the needed health care for the people. It is my hope and prayer that the hospital attains its founding purpose.”