By Onyinyechi Kanu
The Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo had on Thursday 12th of May, 2022, Commissioned an Ultra-modern World class Hospital; Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital, with complete equipment for open-heart surgery, kidney transplant and treatment of other critical health challenges at Oraifite, in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State. Built by Engr, Sir, Emeka Okwuosa, the founder of Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation (SEOF), and the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Oilserv Group.
Speaking at the occasion, Gov Charles Chukwuma Soludo who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Onyekachi Ibezim, in his address said that Nigeria ranks thirty first in heart disease related deaths, noting that this cardiac facility will go a long way in helping the people take care of their heart related diseases. He noted also that health is top of the agenda of his administration and said that Anambra State will assist in sustaining the multi-million dollar project. He thanked Sir Emeka Okwuosa for coming home to invest, while calling on others to emulate him.
Engr. Sir Emeka Okwuosa, the founder of Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital, Oraifite (DIOMH) in his address said that the hospital has been built to the glory of God and in memory of his late mother, Dame Irene Nneka Okwuosa who was a teacher, who loved, cared and catered for people, and earnestly prayed for an institution in Oraifite dedicated to alleviating the suffering of people with challenging medical cases.
Continuing, Engr Okwuosa said the vision came about after several years of hardwork, determination, perseverance and focus and it has also taken a toll of substantial investment from Oilserv Group and Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation (SEOF), with the support of VOOM Foundation, USA and other Successful organisations whose aim and objective has been to give back to the community and the country at large, by offering the best health care you can get anywhere in this country.
According to him, The Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital will provide the health care, Cardiology in particular, which our people travel abroad to get, and it will deliver first class health and medical care with the highest quality and safest care possible for every patient.
Engr Okwuosa added that the Specialist Hospital is fully committed to complementing government’s efforts in reducing maternal and child mortality, controlling the spread of preventable diseases, providing access to affordable and safe surgeries for the removal of tumours. Research, training and development are also part of the Hospital’s mission. It will in addition train next generation of scientists, medical practitioners and public health givers, and as well find ways to continue to make health care even more affordable.
Furthermore, the Chairman and Chief executive officer of Oilserv Group said the Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital will create more than 100 full-time paid jobs, support over 500 businesses and families and provide health care services to an estimated 3000 plus patients yearly.
Engr Emeka Okwuosa stressed that the purpose by which the hospital was conceived is being achieved, they have successfully executed more than six open heart surgeries and the reason why it is cited at Oraifite is also to show that we are capable of concept and execution that is the best, as well as making a difference in the lives of the the people, because charity begins at home. “I come from Oraifite, Anambra State and Nigerian, I have to start developing from granular stage and I there is need for such medical facility because for the past ten years, I have sponsored a lot of people to India and USA for medical care and for the record Nigeria has one of the best medical doctors in the world and for the past years they have been trooping abroad one of the reasons as lack of sophisticated medical facilities in Nigerian. Citing this Hospital in Oraifite will bring employment and development because medical tourism will come into Oraifite.”
He thanked the VOOM Foundation USA for partnering with them and conducting medical mission in September and December 2021 as well as donating easy to use drugs to public referral health centres for the fight against diabetes, colon cancer, cholera, arthritis and typhoid.
He said that this kind gesture fully demonstrates our love for the people of Anambra State and value for lives and well being of our people, and we are therefore committed to working with the State and Federal governments and our people to promote our country’s medical and health care industry and to improve the lives of our people.
He specially thanked the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, friends, Professional colleagues and key players in the health care sector for finding the time from their busy schedules to be present for commissioning of the Hospital. He also thanked everyone who contributed towards the realisation of the project, and promised that this will not be the last of it’s kind in our mission of improving the lives and well being of our people and communities.
The Executive Director of VOOM Foundation, USA, Shawn Pallone, said the foundation’s partnership with Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital is a great opportunity to give back to the society, promising that the foundation will do its best to ensure wellness of the people, while the general manager of Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation, Amanda Obidike, highlighted the aims and objectives of the foundation.
The event attracted personalities from all walks of life, including the Traditional ruler of Onitsha, Obi Alfred Achebe, Igwe Daniel Udoji of Oraifite, Bishop Samuel Nzeofor of Anglican Diocese, Anambra State, Commissioner for health, Dr Afam Obidike. While Prince Arthur Eze, represented by Dr. Emeka Eze of Toronto Hospital, Onitsha, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and former president General of Oraifite, Sir Ralph Wike, among others.
Fund raising, Unveiling of plaque, cutting of ribbons, Hospital facility tour and presentation of shuttle bus for community services were the high point of the event.