To mark the 2017 International Day of Charity otherwise known as World Charity Day, Delta State first lady, Edith Okowa, wife of governor Ifeanyi Okowa, paid a total sum of N2, 386, 040 for 10 stranded patients at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba.
Mrs. Okowa disclosed that to mark the celebration, her Pet Project, 05 Initiative sourced for funds to be able to celebrate the Day with those who have been discharged but were unable to pay their medical bills saying that the team chose to celebrate at FMC in line with the organization’s mission to care for the sick.
“We have in time past carried out different charitable programs, paying of medical bills and providing medical interventions. The joy of being alive has been restored in many families, that same joy is what we have brought here for our brothers and sisters who have been discharged but cannot afford to pay their medical bills”.
The founder, 05 Initiative took the opportunity to thank religious organizations, cooperate bodies and individuals that have in one way involved in the work of charity, charging Nigerians to get involved in charity so they can be remembered for their good work.
“Today we remember Mother Teresa, what will you be remembered for? Will the people around remember you for good work or for how you made life difficult for them. You may say you do not have money to giv. Giving is a spirit, it does not matter how much you have, let it be your way of life, citing 1 Corinthians 13:13, Mrs. Okowa, said, “Show little kindness and support the needy, this will go a long way in ‘changing our world.”
In his address, the Medical Director (MD) of FMC, Victor Osiatuma, said the federal institution was delighted for 05 Initiative’s decision to choose FMC for her charitable work.
“Remarkably, Federal Medical Centre, Asaba is the only Federal Tertiary Health Institution in the whole of Delta State and has in the same vein played a massive role in the provision of adequate health care services to the citizens of Delta State in all nooks and crannies”.
Mr. Osiatuma noted that the tertiary health institution has constantly been saddled with many ailments that ordinarily would need to be handled at both the primary and secondary health care levels, lamenting that, “it is therefore difficult to turn back these numerous people with such ailments who throng our facilities because we have a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to provide adequate support to health facilities in the state whose responsibilities are to cater for these ailments at the primary and secondary levels”.
He used the medium to call on well-meaning individuals to be their brothers’ keeper, “the First Lady, Dame Edith Okowa, has been playing a big role in this regard. At different times, she has defrayed medical bills of several patients running into millions of naira”.
“Her Excellency has also volunteered to settle other set of medical bills of indigent patients to mark today’s occasion of World Charity Day. I wish to state that all of us present here should not leave this financial burden to the First Lady and her husband alone. Rather, this moment should serve as a clarion call to everyone to support them in this charity and humanitarian endeavor”.
Osiatuma revealed FMC management has made massive efforts to establish a charity organization to be called ‘Asaba Society for Care of Indigent Patients, stressing that the society’s duty would be to solicit for support for well-meaning and public spirited individuals, corporate organizations, churches, mosques.
He noted that the proceeds from the venture would be used to cater for needs of indigents patients, “this society is to run independently of management of the hospital and will be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission”.
The CMD said the governor’s wife would be the grand patron of the society when it fully comes on stream.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Oki John, 62 years old who was diagnosed of OM foot and was admitted 25th February 2017 but was discharged 13th July 2017 with his left leg amputated whose outstanding bills was 422, 000, appreciated the governor’s wife for the kind gesture and prayed God to bless her and her entourage.
Others whose outstanding bills were offset includes: Chukwunyem Esther, N310, 850, Chukwudi Joshua, N135, 700, Okolie Ifeanyi, N439, 200, Ubong Kingsley, N307, 050, Onwugbolu Sunday, N221, 000, Obi Jerry, N216, 350, Obianke Onyisi-Ken, N171, 850, Okoh Patrick, N597, 700 and Edhu Eliro, N160, 850 with a 20 per cent discount of N596, 510.