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Foundation, firm give succour to Anambra widows

Mrs Joyce Chukwuma presenting gift to a beneficiary, while Aichbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Obi of Onitsha, (HRM) Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe and Mrs. Uju Ifejika

Succour recently came the way of widows, the aged and poor in Anambra State when an indigenous oil and gas firm, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited (BUNL), and a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Lilyford Foundation, teamed up to provide free medical treatment and assistance to them.

The events, which took place simultaneously at the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, and Iyi-Enu Missionary Hospital in Ogidi, was flagged off by Governor Willie Obiano, represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke.

Speaking at the event, the firm’s Chief Executive, Mrs. Uju Ifejika, explained that the Foundation was set up in honour of her late parents, Chief Clifford Nwobu and Mrs. Elizabeth Chigo Ikpeze, who lived their lives helping others, sacrificing their own comfort and the well-being of their children to cater for the less privilege.

She stated that her father died of prostate cancer in 1999 at 89, while her mother had high blood pressure, which she battled for eight years before her death in 2005 at 75.

“We, their children, decided that they couldn’t allow their legacy to die. That is why we are intervening in the areas of prostate cancer and high blood pressure, because if you are careful and properly manage your blood pressure, you can live long or in relatively good health.”

She stated that the Foundation would intervene in the areas of diabetes, “because before most patients realise they have diabetes, it is already too late, due to lack of awareness and poor management.”

The Foundation, she added, would also treat the elderly who have rheumatism, saying this is a slow killer that affects elderly and even young obese individuals.

“Also, the Foundation’s intervention areas will cover persons who have eye problems, as they will receive treatments, and where need be, they may be given medicated glasses. Both the treatment and the eyeglasses will be free and there will be a follow-up.”

Mrs. Ifejika stressed that the Foundation would work with the Anambra State government and other state governments to explore areas of collaborations to improve the health sector.

In his remarks, Okeke commended the Foundation and Brittania-U Nigeria for their intervention, particularly in the health sector, noting that in spite of government’s efforts in the health sector, the Foundation’s assistance would be immensely beneficial.

He stated that due to the state government’s high premium on health, Obiano has established an insurance policy to cater for the health requirements of indigenes in need of health services.

At the event in Ogidi, Mrs. Ifejika said the Foundation would partner with Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital, owned by the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Diocese on the Niger, to see how it could explore its contact of donor agencies within and outside the country in support of the hospital in any way possible.

Responding, Administrator of the hospital, Venerable Chris Amaku, said given the selfless life led by the late Ikpeze of Ikenga Ogidi, he was not surprised that the Foundation was in partnership with the hospital.

According to him: “If the Foundation continues this way, many poor people will be able to access quality health care services and those who are financially challenged will see this as an opportunity to help themselves.”

The event was rounded off with a thanksgiving service at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Ikenga-Ogidi.

The Archbishop, Province of Enugu and Bishop of Enugu, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, who officiated at the service, in company of his wife, Joyce, said the good deeds of the late Ikpezes, which has brought people from far and near to immortalise them, was worthy of emulation by all.

He said Ikpeze was a man of peace and urged the wealthy in the congregation to reach out to the less privilege in society.

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