From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
It was celebration galore at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu last Sunday, as a Non-Governmental Organization, Humane Succour for Friends Foundation, declared that it will take care of needs of some of the indigent patients.
The foundation after a meeting with the management staff of the hospital said this was part of its mission of assisting the downtrodden and the unreached in the society.
Leader of the delegation, Rev. Sister Frieda Okafor said the US-based promoter of the group directed them to provide some lifeline for poor patients in the hospital: “We want to know where you need help so that we will see how we can meet them.
“The foundation does not have all its needed resources now; but as we gather resources, we will deploy them to the needed areas for effective impact especially on the patients’ welfare and well-being in the hospital.
“Most people who are in the hospital for mental illness are often forgotten. We have also come to give you the little material we have.”
Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Monday Igwe, extolled the foundation for making the hospital its priority and breaking the jinx of people not coming around its patients as they do in visiting motherless babies’ homes and prisons inmates
Igwe noted that mental ill patients are given sound treatment in the hospital and they return to their normal lives, adding that the issue of stigma was still a big challenge to well-treated and discharged patients: “We appeal to wealthy individuals and groups to assist the hospital and its patients in any way they can as we have lots of indigent patients to cater for even those abandoned by their families that we cannot discharge going by medical ethics.
“Our major challenges are that of daily feeding and bill payment of our teeming indigent patients that run into several thousands.
“We have water supply challenge as our over two decade-old water tanker has broken down and we are not connected to public water. So, daily, we buy several tankers of water to service the hospital and ensure enough water for all.
“Our power supply wage bill monthly (both electricity and diesel generating sets) is about N500,000 monthly.
“The hospital also needed to equip and strengthen its occupation therapy department to re-tool its patients with skills to survive economically after discharge from the hospital and to contribute meaningfully to their communities and families.”
The Foundation also donated various items to the hospital including noodles, beverages, confectionaries, and toiletries.