By Obi Ebuka Onochie
The Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria on Wednesday 20th May 2020 received 100 hospital bed sets worth 48.5 million naira from Sir Emeka Offor Foundation for its Covid-19 isolation center. Receiving the items on behalf of the hospital, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital Prof. Ahmed Hamidu Umdagas thanked the Foundation for their kind gesture and promised that the items will not only be put to good use but will serve the community even beyond covid-19 era.
Sir Emeka Offor who was represented at the ceremony by AIG Chris Ezike Rtd, the Chief of Staff to Sir Emeka Offor gave a brief history of the Foundation and stated that the Foundation’s investment in Heath sector is to augment government efforts which actually is one of the tripods the Foundation stands on. The other areas being Education and Empowerment which equally receive as much attention as Health. He informed the audience that in the last nine years, the Foundation has distributed books and other educational materials to Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of education, Primary and Secondary Schools across Nigeria and 18 other African countries worth over $30 million. He also highlighted the Foundation’s recent donation in support of government efforts in the fight against covid-19 pandemic. SEOF has distributed fourteen 40 feet containers of highly needed hospital equipment and materials to designated hospitals and health institutions across Nigeria including the military and the police. He informed the CMD of the hospital that 4 containers of medicines and supplies have already been procured and shipped by the Foundation for distribution to selected hospitals and health institutions in Nigeria, ABUTH being one of them.
The Permanent Secretary Kaduna State Ministry of Health Alh. Shuaibu Muhammed who represented Kaduna State Government conveyed the state government appreciation of the donation noting that the coming onboard of the ABUTH isolation center is a welcomed development to the government. He used the opportunity to reiterate the need for the enforcement and observation of social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols especially among Health workers. He enjoined health workers not to lose their guard while treating others as 19 health workers have tested positive for Covid-19 in the state, 7 of them are health workers in ABUTH.
In his own remarks, the Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Prof. Kabir Bala who was the Special Guest of honor thanked Sir Dr. Emeka Offor and his Foundation for coming to their rescue with the donation. He also appreciated the Foundation for the books and education materials that have been donated to his University in the past calling on other wealthy Nigerians to see investment in health and education as a collective responsibility. He also stated that the manufacturing of hand sanitizers, face masks and detergents now take place in the University to meet the increasing demands for these items.
The highlight of the event was the commissioning and inspection of the isolation center by the Special Guest of Honor, Prof. Bala accompanied by other dignitaries.