By DAPO FALADE
The Abuja Metropolitan Lions’ Club has commenced raising funds to build a paediatrics cancer centre, valued at N45 million, inside the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.
The newly-installed president of the Club, Chief Charlz Opusunju, made this known in Abuja during the investiture ceremony of officers for the 2020/2021 Lions’ Year, noting that the gesture was predicated on the total absence of a paediatric cancer centre at the teaching hospital.
Opusunju, who said Lionism is all about serving, said his team would deliver a brand new and fully-furnished paediatric cancer centre to the Abuja Teaching Hospital within a duration of six months.
“We visited the teaching hospital and discovered that there was no ward for paediatric cancer patients. Sadly, people hardly talk about paediatric cancer because it is always overshadowed by adult cancer. This is what propelled us to start creating awareness that there is also cancer among children.
“This is going to be our major project. We know it is a huge task, but we intend to accomplish it in the next six months and we urge Nigerians to key into it. We intend to build and possibly furnish, depending on the amount we can raise,” he said.
He and also revealed that the Club, which recently commissioned and donated a solar-powered borehole to the Tunga Maji, an Abuja suburb, is determined to continue touching the lives of the poor in the society.
Last July, the Club donated and commissioned some projects in the Tunga Maki Community, including the solar borehole, which cost about N2 million and was funded and supervised by members through direct labour.
Lion Opusunju is however not unaware of the hurdles before his new administration, as he said: “We noticed, in humanitarian services, that the less privileged suffer so much while the rich are not so interested in helping the poor but prefer flaunting their wealth. We hope to sensitise our people about this.”
Similarly, the immediate past president, Lion Monique Welson, while enumerating the various projects carried out by her administration, said: “We actually did so much in terms of project execution. We touched lives at the FCT School for the Blind by providing some signages for people to easily locate the place.
“We screened them to ascertain the level of their sight problem and we celebrated with them. To cap it all, we built and furnished a resource centre for the school because the students needed a library where they can keep their belongings.
“We visited Government Secondary School in Nyanya, distributed sanitary pads to many of the girls desperately in need of them and also distributed customised notebooks, biros and other items the students genuinely needed but could not afford,” she noted.
The investiture ceremony was well attended by several signatories, including the representatives of the Governors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State who were both honoured at the event.