The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has called on the Federal Government to build more specialist hospitals across the country in order to provide for the health needs of Nigerians. He said building more of such hospitals have become imperative owing to the rising cases of kidney failures and other major health challenges plaguing Nigerians in recent years. According to him, the availability of more facilities like dialysis centres would help to curb medical tourism and provide cost effective services to hundreds of Nigerians who travel to India and other countries of the world to access such facilities at exorbitant rates.
He made this appeal recently at the blessing and commissioning of the Kidney Dialysis Centre located at St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital Ijede, Ikorodu, owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. The ultra modern equipment at the centre were donated by Okogie and Afolabi Families. They include: Two Gambro AK98 Dialysis machines; Haemodialysis Water System and Dialysis beds. On the rationale behind opening the centre, he explained: “Kidney diseases are much more now than they used to be. So much money is being spent going to India and different parts of the world. We thought that if we have enough men and materials, enough professionals who can do it here, we should be able to provide it.
And so, this for us is a major milestone in the life of this hospital because of the services that it will provide, so that many more would not have to make that journey to India or other parts of the world for dialysis and kidney replacement.” While advocating the need for more specialist hospitals across the country, he called for the strengthening of the Health Insurance Scheme, noting that Nigeria has the financial capacity and adequate professionals to attend to the health needs of Nigerians provided funds are judiciously applied to the right channels.
The Director of Administration, Sr. Mary Hyacintha Ihedike, EHJ, said the centre was a dream come true, to save lives of people who suffer the deadly disease especially the residents of Ikorodu and its environs. The event was graced by His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Okogie who stood in for the donor families. In his remark, His Eminence charged the management of the hospital to make adequate and prudent use of the facilities to attend to the health needs of Nigerians. He equally urged the Federal Government to do more in providing quality health services for the citizens. Also on ground at the ceremony was the Chaplain of the Hospital Rev. Fr. Joe Ben Onyia and the Health coordinator of the Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Sister Theresa Afareha, EHJ; management and staff of the hospital.