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Imagine A Fresh Breath For A ‘Small Time Hospital’ Through Uncommon Charity
Published Aug 17, 2022 IN Column, SATURDAY COVER,
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DE Saints International Club, Asaba is comprised of a crop of seasoned professionals in diverse fields, but they had no qualms about leaving what others might consider a comfort zone and driving several kilometres long to the rural community of Ehwerhi-Agbarho, in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, where the 26-year old Charity Based Organization (CBO), gave a fresh lease of life to a small unit hospital, Government Hospital, Ehwerhi-Agbarho (Idiavwenaru Odjevwede memorial Hospital), through the donation of life saving medical items, that were badly needed by the hospital, before “De Saints”, as they are called, came to the rescue.

The items donated by De Saints International Club to the hospital were:  examination couch, Creen, sphygnometer, drip stand, mackintoshes, episiotomy scissors, artery forceps, knocker forceps, plain scissors, kidney dish and chairs.

It could therefore be called a rescue mission by the charitable club, whose leader is known as the Mayor, Hon. Jossy Honnah, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Wealth Creation and President-General of his community, Issele-Uku, Aniocha North LGA, Delta State. Club members present were Hon. Kizito Nwokeji,  Deputy Mayor and Chairman of Charity Committee, Prince (Engr.) Mudiaga Ejohwomu (Past Mayor), Phar. S.M. Chidi (Member of Charity Committee), Joe Chidi, C.J. Omunizua (Past Mayor), Engr. Emma Okoh, Teddy Ediale, Dr. Oghenesuvwe Okpara. They thought it was going to be an affair just between the club members and the hospital management, until word got out that some persons were coming all the way from Asaba with a heart of giving. Then the accomplished, but humble club members had no time to shy away from the unexpected limelight, with an array of traditional chiefs and leaders of thought in the community trooping to the venue of the donation, with every sense of gratitude and to identify with the philanthropic club. But the man behind the transmission of the information, Mr. Collins Ashoro, an Asaba based civil servant, an indigene of Ehwerhi-Agbarho and a Past Mayor of the club, got a pat on the back from his colleagues for a seamless liaison with the community, which resulted in a general interest by the community members.

To underpin their appreciation to De Saints International Club, the community did what was considered as uncommon- they treated the club members to a warm reception. Although it was modest, the President-General of Ehwerhi-Agbarho Community, Comrade Jonathan Oriavwuote, observed, “it was a token, but borne out of the abundance of our hearts.” Oriavwuote, a Chief Nursing Officer with the state Hospital Management Board, said he was in a position to state that the donation came at the right time; indeed, he said it could not have come at a more auspicious time, adding that the kind gesture by De Saints International, would echo beyond Ehwerhi to as far as Agbon, Udu and others whose indigenes also make use of the hospital, thus he hoped that from that day henceforth, it would become even a better destination for ‘medical tourism’ by its neighbours.

The Medical Officer In Charge at the hospital, Dr. Nwose Emmanuel, said the big hospitals got what they do not even need, as such a small unit hospital like Government Hospital, Ehwerhi-Agbarho  is grateful to receive such a donation that would go a long way in augmenting its stock.  The warm reception and expressions of gratitude made the hearts of the club members fond, but seeing Chief Joseph Ashoro and Mrs. Elizabeth Ashoro made their hearts fonder. Next, their son, Mr. Collins Ashoro, gave his colleagues a good treat at his country home, where also, Pa Ashoro prayed at length for the club’s continued progress.

Speaking thereafter, the Mayor, Hon. (Sir) Jossy Honnah, disclosed that his tenure as Mayor of the club is unique because: “the idea of taking our medical outreach to the hinterlands and the rural communities is my brainchild. We felt that w have done a lot in the urban areas, so let’s go and touch their lives, in line with the vision of Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor of Delta State. Let’s create wealth and general wellbeing in the rural communities. We felt that every club member came from somewhere- over the last 26 years, we have been touching lives, majorly in the urban areas, so we decided it was high time we started taking this community work to our own villages. If the community where I come from know that I have been touching lives, but decided to bring it to my people- as such, you can see what happened here today, how elevated and excited the people were, that their son, has brought succour to them. In the urban areas, different groups are always going for one charity work or the other, forgetting the hinterlands, but that is why drove for more than two hours from Asaba to get here.

“We have a Foundation that awards scholarships to indigent children; we normally do a kind of sample probability, where our Charity Committee goes out to the hospitals and picks up the bills of indigent patients based on the budget we have mapped out. We discovered that many of these patients were held hostage by the management of the hospitals, for failing to pay their hospital bills, but we ensured that they were discharged. At Madonna Orphanage Home in Okpanam, we built blocks of classrooms and provided chairs; at another orphanage home, we sunk a borehole and bought a bus for them. During the COVID-19, we partnered with the state government, going from one LGA to another, giving empowerment purses to market women, for as little as N20, 000 to N30, 000. These are women whose total wares are not more than N5, 000. We also provided relief for flood victims and partnered with the F.R.S.C.”

Interestingly, the relaxation spot called OGWA, located off Okpanam Road in Asaba, belongs to the club and majority of the proceeds goes into charity work. Honnah recalled that the founding fathers of the club decided that it was not enough to come together to drink and relax, but to think of ways to help those in need, hence, the decision to form the club and that was 26 years ago.


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