For The Love Of Children : Subomi Balogun Donates N5bn Paediatric Centre To UI, UCH - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, January 20, 2021

For The Love Of Children : Subomi Balogun Donates N5bn Paediatric Centre To UI, UCH

Ladi Balogun(middle in ash colour) and representatives  of UI & UCH on Tuesday 

From Heritage Odih, Abeokuta 

Foremost banker and founder of First City Monument Bank(FCMB) Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun  formally hands over his N5bn Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, to the University of Ibadan and University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan.

The Paediatric Centre was built by the philanthropist and elder statesman to render specialised healthcare service, particularly  to children in Ijebu - Ode,  Ogun State and Nigeria.

This is not the first the Olori Omooba of Ijebuland would intervene to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for children. 

At the state hospital  Ijebu  - Ode,  Subomi Balogun, has a ward dedicated for the care of expectant mothers and children and coincidentally, just while it was being inaugurated decades ago,  a woman in labour was rushed to the hospital, the doctors momentarily excused themselves to attend to the emergency  and delivered the woman of a baby boy. 

Right there on that auspicious day,  the boy was christened Subomi. 

Many years ago,  he also donated the Otunba Tunwase Children Emergency Ward(OTCHEW) in UCH and has been funding it till date. 

It is interesting  that a lot of Nigerian children have been saved in OTCHEW while training  and research in  paediatrics medicine have also been going on unhindered in the said Ward. 

But the donation of the multi - billion naira Paediatric Centre and handing it over to the UI and UCH on Tuesday is epocal as it represents a huge generosity borne out sacrifice  and deep affection for the health and well-being Nigerian children. 

The donation followed a resolution and signing of Memorandum of Understanding on October 1, 2020 between the critical stakeholders. 

Given the arrangement, the UCH is mandated to provide clinical services, the UI will engage in research and other academic works, while medical students from the university will also be involved as part of their practical training.

               •Ladi & Prof. Yinka Omigbodun

While handing the sprawling centre located along Ijebu-Ode-Benin Expressway, the Group Executive and Chairman of the Board of Otunba Tunwase Foundation, Ladi Balogun, said his father was inspired to build the centre 11 years ago following his experience at the children's unit of the UCH Ibadan, where he had first hand knowledge of ailing children's plights.

Ladi Balogun  further disclosed that his father was imbued with a drive to build the world class medical facility to cater for children in a sustainable manner after an interaction  with the former Minister of Health in Nigeria, late Prof. Olikoye Rasome-Kuti.

 He noted that  some institutions came forward with requests to manage the facility but declined following  his conviction  that the University of Ibadan and the University College Hospital (UCH) were best suited to manage it and raise the bar of its status. 

"Following the signing of the MoU last year by all the concerned parties, the resolution is that while the University College Hospital (UCH) has been mandated to provide clinical services, the University of Ibadan (UI) will engage in research and other academic works, while students from UI would also be involved as part of the training.

" It is our hope that this institution would contribute immensely to the general well-being of all Nigerians and serve as a symbol of great possibilities for all those who look to achieve greatness and give back to their fatherland," Ladi said. 

In his remark, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of UI, Prof. Adebola Ekanola, expressed his delight at the official hand over of the hospital to both the university and UCH.

Prof.  Adebola was represented by the Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Yinka Omigbodun.

He commended  the founder of the centre for handing over the management of the hospital to the institutions, asssubmitting the centre will be used to provide quality medical services to Nigerians.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, UCH, Professor Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, pledged to replicate the high level health care services administered at UCH in the centre.

He urged residents of Ijebu Ode and adjoining communities to utilise the opportunity provided by the hospital to further enhance their wellbeing and wellness.

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