UITH Staff Inaugurate Group To Fund Patients’ Treatment
A partnership among some staff of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) and some individuals formed to raise funds for the treatment of patients with life-threatening ailments in the hospital has been inaugurated.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Palliative Care Patients Support Foundation at the Nightingale Hall of the UITH Ilorin on Wednesday, the president of the group, Dr. Israel Kayode Kolawole, said that, “the majority of our patients are indigent; the rich ones have been rendered poor because of financial burden of care, loss of jobs due to frequent hospitalizations and other challenges of care and stigmatization from their diseases.”
Dr. Kolawole, who said that the Pain and Palliative Care Unit of the UITH was established over 14 years ago to provide care to meet the peculiar needs of patients with Cancer, COVID-19 and other advanced progressive life-threatening diseases, added that “many of the people are living and dying in unrelieved pain with uncontrolled physical symptoms; unresolved psychosocial and spiritual problems, abandoned, in fear, isolation and loneliness.”
The non-governmental organization courted partnership with public-spirited individuals, groups and organizations to harness resources for community participation, saying that personal resources of members of the organization were grossly inadequate to support patients.
“For most of them, it is not the fear of death that is most important. After all, we all are going to die someday. But most people want to die with dignity and in peace. The needs of these patients include relief from pain and other distressing symptoms that constitute suffering in order to improve their comfort and quality of life.
“Since our healthcare system in Nigeria runs on cash and carry basis and patients often have to pay for all treatments from their pockets, many of these patients frequently struggle with the financial burdens related to their care and many are outrightly often unable to meet the personal expenses involved in their care,” he said.
Members of BOT of the group include professionals such as virologists, senior advocates of Nigeria, industrialists, and former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the UITH, among whom are Emeritus Professor Luke Edungbola, Reverend John Olusola Baiyeshea (SAN), Professor Suleiman Alege Kuranga, Professor Tanimola Akande, Hajia Bolanle Yusuf, and Dr. Israel Kolawole.
The inauguration also witnessed testimonies from patients who had benefitted from treatment and care for the organization.
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