Sickle cell centre in Benin will be refurbished with not less than N350m, the Edo State government disclosed on Thursday.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, made this disclosure, while commissioning laboratory equipment donated to the State Sickle Cell Board, by the PRESCO Plc/University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Sickle Cell Awareness Golf Tournament Fund Management Committee.
The equipment is worth several millions of naira.
Receiving the equipment on behalf of the State Government, Osifo commended the management of PRESCO/UBTH Sickle Cell Awareness Golf Tournament Fund Management Committee, for complimenting State Government’s efforts in providing succor for the Sickle Cell anemia sufferers in the State.
This is even as he appreciated the Board Chairman, Prof. (Mrs.) Caroline Omoti, for her foresight in improving the state of the Centre from what he described as “shamble,” before she took over on 30 July, 2015.
He noted that despite the limited resources, “the Sickle Cell Board has been able to move the Centre forward in trying to alleviate the suffering of the sickle cell challenged persons in the State. Very soon, the sickle centre will be a centre of excellence.
“When we came here earlier, the centre was in shambles, but the Board under the leadership of Prof. (Mrs.) Omoti, we can see the improvement in terms of facilities in the Centre and there is peace.
“In an atmosphere of rancor, there cannot be development, Edo State urges you to keep the pace of development and improvement at the centre,” Osifo said.
Earlier in her speech, the Chairperson of the State Sickle Cell Board, Prof. (Mrs) Caroline Omoti, sued for more support from well-meaning Nigerians, corporate organisations and other stakeholders, to join hands with them to rescue the Sickle Cell Centre, as it is faced with several challenges, which include lack of functional pharmacy and medical unit.
She listed some of the achievement of the Board under her leadership to include purchase of 20 3-seater chair for patients’ conformability, through financial donations, purchase of 50 plastic chairs for the Centre’s Conference Hall through financial donations, purchase of basic equipment to aid good service-delivery, standard weighing scale, complete diagnostic set and purchase of Micro Haematocrit Centrifuge and Microscope, with the ability to take photomicrographs for the laboratory unit to hasten medical attention to patients.
On his part, the Chairman of PRESCO/UBTH Sickle Awareness Golf Tournament Fund Management Committee, Dr. Dominic Oseghae, said the gesture was to reduce the plight of sickle cell sufferers in the state and to compliment government’s effort in providing aid to the Centre.
Tony Uwajeh, Head of Administration, Presco Plc and Dr. Oseghae made the donation of the Haematology Analyser, for full blood count while the Edo State Government purchased Reflon Chemistry Analyser and Trinocular Microscope with a Computer Display for cellular and other blood fluid visualization.