By Simeon Mpamugoh
Dr. Geoffrey Chukwuma Orajekwe, Medical Director, New Nigerian Hospital (NNH) and Chairman Dillion Landlords and Stakeholders Association Kirikiri Town, Lagos recently got another feather to his cap.
He was garlanded with The Best Hospitality Service Provider award in Kirikiri Town, Lagos by a non-government organisation, Education Development Initiative, (EDI). The award was sequel to some others that recognised Orajekwe’s humanitarian gestures within the community.
Orajekwe had earlier been honoured by a number of organisations, including a newspaper outfit. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and some schools.
Instrumental to the decongestion and repairs of roads in the Kirikiri community, Orajekwe believes that medical practice is more of a religion which he approaches as a life calling with no regrets. “I will not tell you that I’m regretting being a medical doctor because first if you are doing this job for the sake of money, you are on a wrong course. But if you obey the oath: “Life of your patient is your number one concern,” you will go far.
“In my hospital my bill is not comparatively expensive. The only way I’ll be crazy about my bill is in a case of assault, when you stab somebody without remorse. But if I see elements of remorse to the incident, I’ll pity you,” he said.
He also spoke on government expectation during the COVID-19 pandemic. His words: “What government should have done during the lockdown is, since the private hospitals were registered and regulated by both federal and state agencies, government should have visited the hospitals to know how they could assist during and after the pandemic. At that moment, hand gloves went up from N800, N1000, to N4,500, a box of facemasks that used to cost N750 -N800, went up to almost N2,500 coupled with patients that were not coming.
“Coronavirus is real. Forget what people are saying. During the time of HIV/AIDS, people were equally saying it was not real. Most times you hear of viral infections, don’t take it for granted because it is airborne. Even with facemasks, some people’s nose is open and dust will carry it and drop it, and then you will inhale it and probably be infected.”
The President/Chief Executive Officer, Education Development Initiative (EDI), Kingsley Okoro explained that the NGO was founded by him and a colleague.
“We stay in a community where education was really lacking, and children hardly go to school. The ones that go don’t have shoes and bags and their parents couldn’t do much financially. My friend and I embarked on various types of jobs and programmes within Kirikiri Town so that we could assist them.
“We visited some oil companies within the community to sensitise them on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to the community which hosts their activities. We realised that most of them don’t know that they have a responsibility to their host communities. We told them we have an NGO that can be involved in distributing palliatives to members of the community. Some of them had built health centres and libraries in schools within the community, but we made it part of their budget.”
On the choice of Orajekwe for the award, he said: “It is aimed at raising money to fund the NGO and assist the needy in the community. Dr Orajekwe was discovered to be a strong pillar of the community when it comes to handling emergency cases. His hospital is the only standard hospital in terms of quality healthcare. Besides, we find his humanitarian spirit unique. He has also set up a lot of businesses that provided jobs to members of the community. To us the award is the best way we can encourage him to do more for the healthy development of the community.”