Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu has laid the foundation stone for the construction of an ultra-modern Diabetes Screening/Treatment Centre, at the General Hospital, Ogoja, in Ogoja Local Government Area of the state which is been donated by Lion Lynda Odu-Okpeseyi led Lions Club International, District 404 A2.

Dr. Edu, during the ground-breaking ceremony, stated that the General Hospital Ogoja under her watch has become a center of Excellence with several specialties to cater to the needs of persons in the Northern senatorial district and beyond. The state Health commissioner said Diabetes has the highest prevalence in the south-south region of Nigeria which includes Cross River state and 50 percent of persons living with diabetes are still undiagnosed.

Persons living with diabetes are more likely to die from COVID 19 as compared to the General population, this is why the State government is collaborating with Lions Club to ensure that Diabetes prevention is given maximum and proper attention, as well as treatment, social support, nutritional support, and management. She said the project will be given adequate support to secure the lives of diabetes patients in Northern Cross River State.

“The State Government is highly impressed with what the Lions Club International, District 404 A2 Nigeria, is doing at Ogoja. The edifice when completed will also service neighboring states like Benue, Ebonyi and as such strengthen the State Medical Tourism; she said.

Edu said, “The intervention of Lion’s Club aligns with the administration of Governor Ben Ayade’s vision of prolonging the life expectancies of people of the state. Our vision is to provide quality health care and to make it accessible and affordable.

In her remarks, the District Governor of Lions District 404 A2, Lion Lady Lynda Odu-Okpeseyi, PMJF, NLCF, stated that the need to improve the quality of life of the people informed the construction of the project.

She said, “This event is particularly significant because it marks the beginning of a new phase in the history of Lions Club International, District 404A2, Nigeria.

“I salute every Lion leader and stakeholder here present to witness the beauty of service towards improving our communities and humanity. “Studies have shown that on average, 40 people die every day from diabetes-related ailments in Nigeria.

“This informed the need for this facility, which will cater for the health needs of those in surrounding communities while providing a point of care for screening and treatment to help avert the looming numbers of fatalities from Diabetes recorded nationwide.

She submitted that diabetes is a deadly disease with high prevalence in Nigeria and quick in reducing the lifespan of the people.

“We have provisions for those who have been diagnosed. We will be treating patients, we will be making referrers in some cases that can’t be handled. “We will also be monitoring the progress of people that have been diagnosed with diabetes,” she said.

The DG SPHCDA Dr. Janet Ekpenyong who accompanied the Commissioner as well as the Chiefs praised the commitment of the Lions Club to meeting needs in society. The promised full support to the project.

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