By Babalola Seyi
Airtel Nigeria has completed the renovation of the Ward A medical facility at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) with cutting-edge medical technology and infrastructure.
This comes only a year after the firm announced that N200 million will be spent on upgrading and equipping the infectious disease center at LUTH in order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The newly outfitted facility, which serves as the tertiary hospital’s main ward, now has an additional 111-bed capacity for admissions, upgraded plumbing, and is well-equipped with luxurious patient rooms.
The Minister of Health, Mr. Osagie Ehanire at the handover of the renovated medical facility to LUTH on Saturday applauded Airtel for its foresight, noting that such collaboration between the private and governmental sectors is important to the realisation of the health sector’s reforms.
“This would have a significant impact to the health sector because this a modern ward that is acceptable by all standards which will increase the confidence of citizens, and even those who don’t wish to be treated here despite the high-quality facility will have a different opinion when they see what has been done here,” the Minister said.
“I am happy to note that Airtel Nigeria walked each step of the Covid-19 journey partnering with LUTH: a partnership which also saw the Company donate 81 telephone lines to the hospital’s Psychosocial and Emotional Support Group, which reached out to provide psychosocial support to patients and their families following Covid-19 diagnosis, and reached over 20,000 patients in the Lagos metropolis, with Airtime provided for 3 months in each phone line.
The Health Minister further said: “In no country can the government alone fund healthcare and it is in that regard that we must urge more Private sector investment in the Nigerian healthcare sector. With such investment and the skilled and dedicated manpower, the sky’s the limit on our quest to improve the quality of care in Nigeria.”
Mr. Chemmekonkil Surendran, CEO of Airtel Nigeria, stated in his remarks that this was a show of the company’s commitment to fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) by contributing to accessible infrastructure for Nigerians experiencing medical crises.
“At Airtel, we keep our words and promises. We believe that we are a major stakeholder in Nigeria and we have a duty and responsibility to impact the various communities we serve positively.
“It is our hope that this facility will further smoothen the delivery of healthcare services in Nigeria and help foster healthcare inclusion especially among those who are in the lower rung of society.”
Professor Chris Bode, LUTH’s Chief Medical Director, expressed thanks for the project’s completion, saying, “The Airtel Team given to us, led by Mr. Emeka Opara, did a tremendous job.”
“Mr. Surendran, if five multinationals in Nigeria would do what your company has done for us yearly; life will be paradise on earth.”
He further thanked the LUTH Board that provided all necessary backing for the project, the Management Team that saw it through, the engineering department and CMAC, DCMACs, the Head of Nursing, and all who contributed to the work.
According to him, the department of medicine is ready to begin admitting patients to the hospital since the quality of care has increased.
The event witnessed other dignitaries at the commissioning yesterday such as Mr. Isa Bello Sali, Chairman of the LUTH Management Board; Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, Group Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, who joined remotely, as well as other Airtel executives
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