Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN), an umbrella body for mission hospitals in Nigeria, reached out recently with N34 million worth of medical items to 17 mission hospitals in eight states. The effort, it was learnt, was to help in containing the spread of COVID-19.
The medical items were provided by the association with the support of a Germany-based foundation, DIFAEM. The official presentation of the items to representatives of the hospitals was done at the Saint James Cathedral, Oke-Bola, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The hospitals were selected from the six states of the South West, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti, as well as Edo and Delta. The items included personal protective equipment (PPE).
Beneficiaries of the donation were Bowen Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State; Ibadan Anglican Diocese Hospital, Molete, Ibadan, Oyo State; Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ogun State; Sacred Heart, Lantoro, in Ogun State; Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital and Maternity, Ipetumodu, Osun State; and Baptist Medical Centre, Obanikoro, Lagos.
Director of advocacy and communication of CHAN, Dr. David Omorebokhae, stated that the donation was aimed at helping in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19, adding that 40 per cent of Nigerians that seek medical services get treated at mission hospitals. He also noted that CHAN has been ranked next to government in the country when it comes to delivering quality health services.
His words: “CHAN is the umbrella body for mission hospitals in Nigeria. We have about 685 members across the country. Out of every 10 Nigerians looking for health services, about four of them, 40 per cent get it from missionary hospitals. We are ranked Number Two after the government in terms of quality health services. Our workers don’t go on strike.
“The materials are to help in combating COVID-19. All the hospitals represented here are not well factored by the government. But we as CHAN, as an umbrella body for these hospitals, we met our supporters and mobilised these resources to cater for our members. We had five slots of medical facilities in terms of donation when COVID came, we gave our members and they protected themselves, none of their staff contracted the virus.
“We gave to our staff to protect themselves, and educate the masses and the need for them to wear face masks. And as you can see the items, face masks and others are protective items. Prevention is better than cure. We have two hospitals from Delta, two from Edo and two each from other South Western states, which equals eight states. But 17 facilities are represented here.”
Omorebokhae, however, admonished mission hospitals that benefitted from the gesture to sensitise the masses on the danger of COVID-19 and the need to prevent themselves against contracting the virus.
In the same vein, the programme assistant, Zone D, CHAN, Mrs. Funmilola Oladele, said the association deemed it fit to protect its members from the risk of contracting COVID-19, saying the Zone D of the association comprises eight states – Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Edo and Delta. She stated that the 17 hospitals across the eight states that benefitted from the round of donation were selected among the 283 mission hospitals in the zone.
Oladele further enjoined beneficiaries of the gesture to educate members of their communities on the risk of contracting COVID-19, if they did not take cognizance of the preventive measures prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), adding that the monetary value of the items donated to each of the 17 hospitals was in the range of N2 million, making a total of N34 million.
“This time, COVID-19 pandemic is in Nigeria. The government is taking care of government hospitals. But our mission institutions get no support from anywhere, not even from the government, and our staff, health workers are exposed to danger. This is why CHAN, the umbrella body for mission hospitals in Nigeria, seeks for support for this PPEs from DiFAEM company in Germany.
“To the beneficiaries, they have the opportunity to be selected. My office is the Zone D and it comprises the six South West states, as well as Delta and Edo States. We have about 283 hospitals under this zone. Out of the 283, we selected 17 as beneficiaries of this gifts; more support is coming soon. We hope the beneficiaries will use the donated medical items judiciously to protect their staff from contracting COVID-19,” Oladele stated.
Representative of Ibadan Anglican Diocese Hospital, Molete, Ibadan, Dr. Olugbenga Aloh, described the gesture as a laudable effort, which he said would mitigate the effect of COVID-19 to break its transmission and protect health workers from being infected. He also promised that the hospital would make good use of the items.
Sister Charity Okoro, who represented Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital and Maternity, Ipetumodun, Osun State, applauded the association for the donation, adding that the gesture would help protect health workers in terms of hygiene from the COVID-19 disease.
Representative of Baptist Medical Centre, Obanikoro Lagos, Oladayo Adesina, secretary of the Lagos State chapter of CHAN, described the donation as a welcome development, which, he said, would help in creating awareness against the continuous spread of the COVID-19 and protect health workers against the virus.
“It is a welcome development. CHAN has been so kind to us in terms of our health facilities. These donations will be used towards awareness and advocacy programmes, especially during this COVID-19 period. Any patient that comes into the facilities will be tested, their temperature will be checked and we will protect ourselves as health workers,” Adesina said.