Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
The rather timid war against the Coronavirus pandemic in Kogi State
had received a boost with three ventilators from an unlikely source. Natasha Akpoti a female politician and social crusader on Friday, donated the ventilators to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Lokoja to help tackle the pandemic.
According to a statement by the Natasha Akpoti Foundation, although the state had yet to record any COVID-19 case, the ventilators are to be installed in the public health facility in the state.
She charged individuals and the business community to assist the government to fight the global scourge shortly after the equipment was unveiled on Friday.
According to her: “It is trite knowledge that Nigeria’s healthcare sector especially that of Kogi State is dilapidated largely due to governmental neglect.
“However, citizens can’t afford to fold their arms when humanity is at stake in the wake of this Coronavirus pandemic.
“When I got wind of the fact that Kogi State in its entirety had no ventilators, I thought the most patriotic and humane thing to do was the purchase the much one could to help my people.
“The three ventilators have been installed at the Federal Medical Centre and they have been unveiled.
“As of today, there is no recorded case of COVID-19 in Kogi, but it does not mean we should fold our hands only to act at the 11th hour.
“It is a proactive measure to ensure that whenever any patient surfaces, these facilities would be offered free of charge.
“Beyond this coronavirus pandemic, I hope these facilities will be of service to patients in need of respiratory aid. Healthcare is one area that is very dear to my heart.
“I grew up amongst the medics; my father was a medical doctor and my elder brother is one too.
“Hence, I have come to appreciate the importance of good and efficient healthcare being available to even the most vulnerable in the society.
“Now Kogi State can boast of three ventilators and we hope the government will step up to its responsibilities by upgrading the isolation centres.
“My desire that these ventilators would be rendered free of charge at use is because I know what it means and how bad it feels to be denied medical attention even by government-owned hospitals, because one is too poor to afford it.
Akpoti called on privileged people in the society to emulate her example by donating equipment to hospitals instead of cash to government.
The Chief Medical Director, FMC, Lokoja, Dr Olatunde Alabi, said the machines will be useful beyond the COVID-19 era to service accident victims along the ever busy Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road.
He expressed profound gratitude to Akpoti and assured that the equipment will be put to judicious use to preserve lives.
The News reports that the donated items are 2 mobile ventilators and one static digital ventilator.