Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
An NGO, the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, has donated 40FT container load of medical equipment worth three hundred and eighty thousand US dollars ($380,000) to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
In addition, the Foundation also donated 100 hospital beds with mattresses, beside cupboards and accessories, which the Foundation described as ‘our modest contribution in furtherance of the call by the Federal Government of Nigeria for humanitarian assistance in order to mitigate the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.’
Presenting the items to the Chief Medical Director, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Prof Abdullahi Yusuf, on Thursday, the Founder of the Foundation, Sir Emeka Offor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, AIG Chris Okey Ezike (retd), said the Foundation started medical equipment distribution in 2020 as an intervention, adding that the Foundation was proud to be in partnership with ‘Savanna Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) who graciously nominated the UITH as beneficiary of our medical equipment distribution programme for 2020.’
The donation to UITH, Offor said ‘was in continuation of our nationwide distribution of medical equipment/ supplies to designated hospitals across the country,’ adding that the Foundation was founded in 1996 with a ‘vision to reduce poverty, create life improving economic opportunities through education, healthcare services, youth empowerment programmes and infrastructural development.’
He disclosed that the Foundation in collaboration with Books for Africa has donated over 30 million USD worth of books, computers and other educational materials to Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Secondary and Primary Schools with public libraries in Nigeria and about 18 other African countries.
Offor said: ‘We are in uncommon times. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges with a lot of questions requiring answers. We must therefore support government at all levels in dealing with this pandemic. We must appreciate our health workers realising that in a period like this nothing else matters except health, life and living.’
Responding to the donation, UITH CMD, Prof Abdullahi Yusuf, said the donation was very timely, saying what the Foundation has done was wonderful and commendable. Like Oliver Twist, he craved for more from the Foundation, while urging well meaning individuals and corporate bodies to take a cue from the Foundation by donating generously to healthcare delivery system in the country. He said government alone cannot tackle the mounting health challenges in the country.
Commenting, Commissioner of Health Kwara state Dr Razaq Raji said currently the state has 143 active cases of COVID-19 patients.
It added that it has so far discharged no fewer than 71 patients with 68 active cases.
Dr Raji said equipment they supplied here will be complementary to what the Kwara state government is doing and Kwarans and Nigerian will benefit from it.
‘And I am telling you that the state currently has about 143 cases positive, 68 are still active. We are managing them. 71 patients have been managed and discharged. They are well and we have four deaths. COVID-19 is real, everybody should stay safe.’