From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A business mogul and philanthropist, Subomi Balogun, has formally handed over his Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, to the management of the University of Ibadan and the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held on Tuesday at the sprawling centre, located along Ijebu-Ode-Benin Expressway, the Group Executive and Chairman of the Board of Otunba Tunwase Foundation, Ladi Balogun, said the N5 billion health facility was built by his father to enhance the delivery of quality medical care, especially for children in Nigeria.
He explained that Otunba Subomi Balogun was inspired to build the centre eleven years ago as a result of his experience when he took over the children’s hospital at the UCH Ibadan, where he was exposed to the true plight of sick children.
Ladi Balogun added that his father’s interaction with a late former Minister of Health, Prof Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, further spurred him to build a world-class medical facility to cater for the needs of children’s health in a sustainable manner.
He disclosed that when the hospital was completed, some institutions requested to manage it but the founder was of a strong conviction that the University of Ibadan and the University College Hospital (UCH) were in a better position to effectively raise its status.
Balogun said the resolution to hand over the hospital to the UI and UCH, followed a signing of Memorandum of Understanding on October 1, 2020, between the concerned parties.
Balogun said that while the UCH was mandated to provide clinical services, the UI will engage in research and other academic works, noting medical students from the university will also be involved as part of their training.
In his remark, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of UI, Prof Adebola Ekanola, expressed his delight at the official hand over of the hospital to both the university and UCH.
Represented by the Provost, College of Medicine, Prof Yinka Omigbodun, Prof Ekanola thanked the founder of the paediatric centre for handing over the management of the hospital to the institutions, saying the centre will be used to provide quality medical services to Nigerians.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, UCH, Professor Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, promised that same high-level health care services administered at the main hospital in Ibadan would also be administered at the centre.
He urged residents of Ijebu-Ode and adjoining communities to utilise the opportunity provided by the hospital to further enhance their wellbeing and wellness.