By Ike Uchechukwu
The Lions Club International District 404 A2 Nigeria has kick started the construction of an Ultra-Modern Diabetes Screening and Treatment Centre at the General Hospital Ogoja, Cross River State.
The one hundred- and fifty-million-naira facility will serve people in the Northern Senatorial district of state ,neighbouring Benue, Ebonyi, Enugu states as well as Cameroonians as it would be a fully equipped facility also with an ambulance.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the facility at the weekend, District Governor ,Lions District 404 A2, Lion Lady Lynda Odu-Okpeseyi PMJF, NLCF said the need to improve the quality of live of the people was the brain behind the construction of the facility.
She told Vanguard that the project was significant as it marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Lions Club international .
Odu-Okpeseyi disclosed that studies show that atleast 40 persons die daily from diabetes related illnesses in Nigeria.
Her words :”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 the average, 40 people die everyday from diabetes related ailments in Nigeria.
“This informed the need for this facility which will after for the health needs of this in surrounding communities while providing a point of care for screening and treatment to help avert the looming numbers recorded nationwide.
“Underprivileged families in these communities can confidently walk into a modern facility without the fear of huge financial cost to seek screening and help in diabetes related ailments.
“This will in effect encourage a drop in the prevalent death records due to diabetes related issues.
“Our investment here will help ensure that the people of Ogoja and Nigeria at large will have the health infrastructure that meets international standards to efficiently prosecute diabetes related concerns and other medical issues connected to it” she said
Speaking further ,she hinted that their investment in strengthening Nigeria’s health system was considerably beyond just constructing buildings as they build as well as equip.
“The Lions Clubs International, District 404A2 Nigeria is working closely with federal, state and local governments to improve the quality of life and general wellbeing of its citizens across its six thematic areas of focus.
“They include ; hunger, environment, youth empowerment, vision, pediatric cancer advocacy as well as diabetes,” she concluded.
On her part, Cross River Commissioner for Health ,Dr. Betta Edu said they are proud of what Lions Club International District 404 A2 Nigeria was doing in Ogoja as it was now becoming a new centre of excellence.
She said the government will play its supportive role in the project and provide staff as hundreds and thousands of lives would be saved by this centre.
According to her ,it would save a lot of people living in the north as well as people coming from neighbouring Ebonyi,Enugu, Benue as well as Cameroon.
“Many will no longer have to travel far or come to Calabar to get screened or treatment , Lions Club international District 404 AW Nigeria has brought succour to our people ,” she said .
Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency said the project is a high impact project, laudable and pledged her commitment to ensure the project is completed.