Prof. Bissallah Ekele, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) Gwagwalada, has commended Abuja Metropolitan Lions Club, (NGO), for constructing a Pediatric Oncology Centre in the hospital. Ekele made the commendation at the inauguration and donation of the centre to the hospital on the 27th march 2021.
The CMD said that the Pediatric Oncology Centre was a step in the right direction as it would go a long way to accommodate more cancer patients in the hospital. According to him, the hospital needs more support from corporate organisations and well meaning Nigerians as the volume of indigent patients that patronise the hospital was high.
“This is history in the making, because it is the first time an NGO has constructed such a center in nearly 30 years existence of the hospital.
“This project intends to bring succor to one of the most vulnerable groups in the society (children with cancer) and is highly commendable and we cannot thank the Abuja Metropolitan Lions Club enough.
“I am sure this will open the flood gate to other foundations and charity organisations to come and show their milk of kindness,” he said.
According to him, the hospital truly needs such support because the volume of indigent patients that patronise us is high.
”The number of unknown accident victims on admission is also high and we are also the choice for patients from the correctional facilities around us.
“Though we have increased our hospital bed capacity from 350 to 500 in the course of four years, we still do not have enough beds for children with cancer.
”But with this gesture from Lions Club, we can now accommodate more patients,” he said.
The President of Abuja Metropolitan Lions Club, Lion Charlz Jestus Opusunju, said the project which started in October 2020 and completed in March was a core project for the 2020/2021 Lions year. Opusunju, who is the 11th President of the club said the project would also go a long way to bring succor to children with cancer. The president said that children would also benefit from the services in the centre now and in the future. He added that the project lasted for a period of five months, had standard procedure carefully followed at the course of construction as was promise by the club.
“This edifice was built without any grant from the International office, no sponsorship or collaboration but completely with funds raised from friends and public spirited individuals at my investiture as President.
“My dream when I assumed office as President of Abuja Metropolitan Lions Club was to do something that will make the difference in the lives of children and families of children fighting cancer.
“This dream propelled me and the Board of Directors of the club to conduct a needs assessment of some centers providing oncology services in the FCT during which we saw the gaps in the pediatrics oncology services in UATH,” he said.
He said that the building of the Paediatric Oncology Centre was the core project for the 2020/2021 Lions year.
“And, we anticipate that it will go a long way to bring succor to the children who will benefit from services in this centre now and in the future.
“Since the inception of our club 11 years ago, we have carried out so many projects to better the lives of our immediate communities.
”In addition to executing our monthly required activities like relieving hunger, cancer and diabetes awareness, Sight Preservation and Awareness amongst others,” he said.