To help improve the state of facilities at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, the Olubunmi Health Care Delivery Assistance Program presented some equipment to the Oncology Unit of the hospital, Bukola Adebayo and Gbenro Adeoye report
I received drips not on a bed but on a plastic chair. It was very uncomfortable. The drip came off intermittently and the nurses had to fix it repeatedly. What I saw was not what I expected of a teaching hospital, especially for cancer treatment.”
She has been a regular visitor to the Oncology Unit of the hospital. In fact, while many where celebrating the New Year last January, she was undergoing surgery at the hospital to remove her left breast, which had been eaten up by cancer.
Perhaps, doctors can easily dismiss Ashiru’s observation as that of a sick person who wants immediate solution to her problem. But what about the comments by the Head of Department of the Oncology Unit of the hospital, Dr. Abiodun Poopola?
Poopola notes, “During chemo, the patients may vomit, feel uncomfortable and also lose their hair. So they need an environment that is conducive for them to get their treatment. And one of that is the chemo chair, which is comfortable and adjustable. It can be reclined, so patients can extend their legs and be more comfortable during the procedure.”
Beyond this, the HoD inaugurated a documentary in which he highlighted the problems of the unit and the patients.
According to him, the documentary is to provoke financial support from well-meaning philanthropists and organisations.
He says, “I felt if people saw the suffering of the patients and the few facilities we have at the department through the documentary, they will do something.”
In fact, it was during the showing of the documentary on one occasion that the founder of a non-profit organisation, the Olubunmi Healthcare Delivery Assistance Program, Ms. Olubunmi Aboderin, saw the condition of the unit and the plight of the patients.
Being a humanist, the documentary instantly touched her consciousness and little wonder last Wednesday, she made a presentation to the hospital’s Oncology Unit.
Among the items that the foundation donated to the unit were six chemotherapy chairs, 10 steel drip stands and two wheelchairs. While making the presentation, she acknowledged that the documentary propelled her to provide the equipment.
Aboderin, who said the foundation would always assist health care providers to deliver quality care and improve access to care for patients, noted however that such recipients must meet its conditions.
According to her, the health care providers, for instance, must be government-registered and authorised.
She added, “They need to have a proven track record of accountability and must have been in service for at least five years.”
Meanwhile, while receiving the items, Popoola said they would help to improve the delivery of chemotherapy to patients.
According to him, the unit, which has 3,120 cancer patients, provides chemotherapy treatment to 1,248 patients annually.
Urging individuals to adopt healthy lifestyle to reduce their risk for developing cancer, Popoola added that associated environmental and genetic factors could predispose people to some cancers.
Popoola said, “It is more important than ever for us to adopt healthy living and avoiding carcinogenic agents like cigarettes. Early exposure to sex predisposes women to cervical cancer, which is an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of cells in the body.
“One should also do regular screening early and regularly; breast and cervical cancer when detected early can be cured.”
At the ceremony, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Prof. Wale Oke, represented by the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Olatunde Williams, thanked the foundation for the gesture.
The initiative, he said, was necessary to bridge the gap in provision of care for patients.
Oke said, “The facilities at our hospital are not commensurate with the teeming population of the state. We commend such an enviable effort in providing health care to Lagosians through this kind of gesture.”
He also urged individuals, corporate bodies and non-governmental organisations to emulate OHDAP by assisting the less privileged in the society.
The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, who inaugurated the equipment, urged the public to go for regular cancer screening.
“Early detection is always the best,” she said; while thanking the foundation for supporting health care delivery in the state.