Wife of the Delta State Governor and Founder, O5 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, on Friday through her initiative, commissioned a sickle cell clinic at the Central Hospital, Warri in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.
The inaugurated clinic at the Warri Central Hospital happens to be the 18th clinic to be established in the state by the wife of the Governor across the various local government areas of the state.
Some of the facilities commissioned at the clinic include Haematospin machines, genotype tanks, electrophoresis machines, Mindray BC 20 analyzer matching, stocks of reagents to last about one year, as well as refurbished laboratories, waiting room, and beds.
Having previously established over 17 sickle cell clinics across 17 different local government areas, Dame Okowa during the inaugural ceremony, said that the Sickle Cell Clinic in Warri is the best in the state.
She’s said, ”The commissioning of these clinics has been a long-term desire so as to help cater for the health needs of those living with sickle cell disorder in Warri and its environs.
“Beyond establishing these clinics, however, our desire is to make these facilities accessible to those who need them and it’s our desire to ensure that before the end of 2023, all the hospitals in the 25 local government areas of the state, have a sickle cell clinic.
Meanwhile, she cautioned intending couples to endeavor to know their genotype status before taking marital decisions to avoid giving birth to children with sickle cell disorder.
“It is our desire to see that the peculiar needs of these ‘warriors’, as we choose to call them, are met in the midst of the teeming health challenges of the growing population. This is exactly why we are establishing special clinics that would be accessible to them”, she added.
The O5 Initiative founder enjoined the community to make proper use of the facilities for the benefit of the people, emphasizing that the pieces of equipment are neither to be sold nor to be relocated to a different location.
“I am pleading on behalf of the 05 teams that we must sustain this clinic. When people come to use these facilities, they should be charged at a subsidized rate so that we could be able to service these machines. We want our children’s children to make use of this facility too.
“The newborn babies screening machine that we have here in Warri is the only one in Delta and this is courtesy of your son’s and your daughters who have provided the funds for the purchase of the equipment for the clinic.
She commended the contributions of the Warri South council chairman, Michael Tidi, the member representing Warri Federal Constituency, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, PDP chieftain, Joseph Otumara, and other leaders of Warri South Council for making the clinic a reality with their wonderful contributions.
The director-general of the Initiative, Oghenekevwe Agas, earlier in her address, emphasized that the projects were in line with the vision of the O5 Initiative, which is centred on making life bearable for those who need help.
Chairman of the Warri South Local Government Area, Michael Tidi in an interview with newsmen commended the effort of the first lady, saying that “what Her Excellency has done has placed Warri in the world map.”
“Our hope is that the facility will be put to judicious use and we also hope that the warriors will find succor whenever they run to this centre,” he said.
She urges staffers of the Central Hospital, Warri to maintain the facility as they have been known to do over the years, adding that he had explicit trust in the staffers that they will do their best to take care of the facility.