In line with its humanitarian goals and objectives, the Lions Clubs International, District 404A1, has handed over a world class eye centre built with the support of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), within the premises of Warri Central hospital to Delta state government.
The handing over caremony held Wednesday at the hospital ground, brings to fruition a project conceived over 20years ago and was reactivated by the current Executives of the body headed by District 404A1 Governor, Lion Fortune Wagbatsoma, that saw its completion in a record time of seven months.
In a goodwill message delivered at the opening caremony, Delta state Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, commended the members of the Lions Club International, District 404A1, for embarking on such laudable projects that would mostly be used by the middle and low class in the society, adding that this would provide them an affordable eye care treatment in the hospital.
The Governor who was represented at the occasion by the Commissioer of Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, noted that he was particularly excited over the project because the members of Lions Clubs who executed the project did not fulfilled the promise made last year September when the ground breaking was performed but were able to deliver such gigantic project in a record time.
While urging other stakeholders, especially the private sector players to emulate such good gesture displayed by the Lions Clubs International by seeking areas to partner state government in the provision of essential services, particularly in the health care sector, Dr. Ononye, noted that the appeal had become necessary as it has become evident that government cannot do it alone.
He assured that the state government would set machinery in motion to ensure that the standards of the project was being maintained, inorder to serve the maximum purpose for which it was established.
In her speech, the District Governor, Lions Clubs International, District 404A1, Lion Fortune Wagbatsoma, disclosed that her Exco took up upon itself to commence the building project late last year 20 years after the idea was mooted by the Management of Delta State Government owned Central Hospital, Warri to the Club.
She further acknowledged the roles played by other members of Lions Clubs International, District 404A1, the hospital management and her husband towards the completion of the project, adding that; “The centre has been rebuilt and equipped through the kind support of the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF), Chicago”.
According to her: “This facility is a culmination of a decade long relationship between our association and the management of the hospital. In that time, we have collaborated and sponsored uncountable free eye surgeries and supported the eye clinic, with donation of various equipment and consumables to expand their impact and service”.
“The new facility sits on two floors and consists of consulting rooms, operating theatres, treatment rooms, patient and staff lounge among other spaces”.
“It is equipped with state-of-the-art eye diagnostics, surgery and treatment machines. The project also provides for the training of the existing personnel. The end result of this gift, will be hitch free eye care for the people of Warri and its environs, within a conducive and friendly environment”, she stated.
Continuing; “Lions Club International, has recently exceeded our goal of serving 275 million vulnerable and less privileged persons annually. Our grant making arm, LCIF, has extended over US$1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance grants globally and the eye centre project is one of such projects”.
“Our International office and district administration also recognize the immense support this project and indeed our other activities have enjoyed from the government and shall use the occasion of this project commissioning, to once again appreciate the Delta State Government ably led by our Ekwueme Himself, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, for the conducive environment you created to make service to humanity worth the while”.
“We deeply appreciate the Permanent Secretary, Delta State Hospitals Management Board, Dr. (Mrs.) F. Omoraka for your support, especially during the signing of the MoU, the Medical Director CHW, Dr. Patrick Omu for creating a friendly environment for this project to thrive smoothly, Dr. Paul Okubor for believing in the Lions Club International and of course our great supporters, friend of the needy, a gift to eye care in Nigeria and a beautiful woman of valor, Dr. (Mrs.) Faith Ejegi, HOD Ophthalmology, who was there from the very beginning”.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Project Chairperson, Lion (Dr.) Louis Esenwa, disclosed that the ground breaking ceremony of the medical edifice, “took place in this very spot in November, 2021, with a promise to deliver this project in record time.
“The project is in three parts, namely the construction/renovation of the eye clinic building and its equipment with state-of-the-art facilities, training/updating of the clinic professional staff and conduction of outreaches over a period of three years. Today, we are witnessing the delivery of the first and most extensive part of the project in record time”.
The Chief Medical Director, Central Hospital, Warri, Dr. Patrick Omu gave a detailed background of the project and expressed happiness that it was completed in record time, assuring that management of the hospital, will protect and use the project judiciously, even as the HOD Ophthalmology of the Hospital, Dr. (Mrs.) Faith Ejegi, described the project as one of its kind in the whole of Delta State.