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May 29: Philanthropist pays hospital bills of indigent patients

fetes old people in Enugu

Enugu – No fewer than six indigent patients at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital ( ESUTH), have had their hospital bills amounting to N.9million paid by a United States of America based philanthropist, Chief Felix Ugwu.

In an interview with newsmen in Enugu, Ugwu said that the philanthropist gestures were his own way of celebrating the imminent swearing-in of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for a second term in office, on May 29.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), also reports that Ugwu also donated food items worth N.9 million to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home of the Elderly, Awkunanaw in Enugu.

Some of the food items donated for the upkeep of the elderly inmates included: one bag of crayfish, 30kg bag of dry fish, baskets of tomatoes, cartons of vegetable oil and bags of garri.

The rest were: cartons of confectioneries, packs of bottle water, cartons of disinfectants, diapers, cartons of soap among others.

At ESUTH, Ugwu paid the bills of patients who had earlier been discharged, either on account of the completion of their medication or referral to other hospitals, but were left stranded for months in the hospital, due to lack of funds to settle their bills.

A nurse in the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that one of the patients suffering from advanced cervical cancer was referred to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.

She said that the patient could not be released for further medication in UNTH due to her huge debt and had spent more time than necessary in ESUTH.

“This patient is in her fifties. She has advanced cancer of the cervix which affected her uterus and intestines and can no longer pass excreta” she said.

Other patients whose hospital bills were paid included three nursing mothers who were delivered of their babies through cesarean session, but were held back by the hospital management for their inability to pay.

Others were a young single mother who had spent over one month after her discharge from the hospital and an Octogenarian whose family could neither meet up with her hospital expenses or discharge fee.

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Ugwu further said that his efforts were to complement that of the governor of the state, who had been returned for the second term of office.

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The philanthropist said that the governor had leadership skills and had revolutionized governance in the state.

“The governor has been in the area of uplifting the poor, the needy and residents of the state.

“What we are doing today is in support and furtherance of the good nature of the governor,” he said.

Ugwu, who was touched and pained by the number of stranded patients that mobbed him to settle their bills in the hospital, called on well meaning Nigerians to visit such hospitals and assist indigent patients.

The sister in charge of the home for the elderly, Sister Ellen Creed, expressed delight at such act of philanthropy.

Creed said that the home currently had no fewer than 60 inmates and depended solely on assistance from members of the public saying “what we have witnessed today is a great surprise.

“Enugu people are generally good but this amount of assistance is extraordinary.

“The state governor has been a long faithful friend of this home.

“He tells his friends about us and they in turn come to help us to enable us to serve more elderly people,” Creed said.

The Coordinator of `The Mandate Group for Ugwuanyi’, Mr Ifeanyi Agu, said that Ugwuanyi had always championed the course of the downtrodden.

Agu said that such philanthropic missions reflected the nature of the governor.

The highlight of the event was a special prayer offered by the inmates of the old peoples’ home for a successful second tenure for the state governor. (NAN)

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