UBTH to Celebrate 50th Anniversary with Free Cancer Screening

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

As part of events to mark its 50th anniversary, the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) yesterday announced free training for responders on basic life support, free cancer screening and subsidised surgeries for members of the public.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof Darlington Obaseki revealed the plan at a session with journalists in Benin City.

At the session, Obaseki unveiled the theme and logo of the Golden Jubilee, saying the activities were designed to give back to the society for standing by the institution for the past 50 years.

While the theme of the anniversary centres on “Advancing the Legacy of Quality Healthcare,” Obaseki outlined a 50-year tripod projection revolving around infrastructure upgrade, comprehensive cancer care and comprehensive cardiology center.

Obaseki, a professor of Pathology, disclosed that the free training, which involves first responders like the members of the Federal Road Safety Corps, the police and drivers would be in December 2022.

He said the free cancer screening “will take place in January 2023, while the executive screening which involves medical screening for top executives, including members of the Edo State Executive Council takes place in February.”

According to him, the subsidised surgeries are to take place in March before the anniversary in May 2023.

He said the famous medical institution built by the then Governor of the Midwest Region, late Brigadier General Samuel Ogbemudia started as a 300-bedded hospital in 1973, which has grown to a 900- Bedding facility today. 

Eulogising the founding fathers of the institution, Obaseki said: “If l have seen further than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants, that UBTH is a great tertiary multi-specialty.

“I make bold to say this morning that the successes and heights we have attained as a Teaching Hospital is because of the foresightedness and the labours of our founding fathers and heroes past. They set a solid foundation for us upon which every one of us that has come thereafter has built upon.

“l am convinced that on May 12, 1973 when this great institution was commissioned, it was already set on the path of greatness. That the hospital started as a 300 bedded facility was a pointer to greatness that awaits her.

“The structures are both sub and super, the vast expanse is situated upon and even the recuperative facility available (probably the only hospital with 18 hole golf Course in Africa).

“By geographical location, this hospital is located strategically to serve several states in the south-south, south-east and even south west.

“We have come a long way these past 49 years and have achieved a lot along this evolutionary journey. We are the first public hospital to set up a neonatal unit in this country, the first to commence Invitro fertilisation (IVF) in Nigeria and still sustaining the service.

“We are also the first to have a breakthrough in stem cell transplantation for the treatment of Sickle cell in West Africa with successful outcomes just to mention a few,” the chief medical director said.

“When his administration came into office five years ago, we immediately got to work and produced a document, Strategic Reform Plan”, which was reviewed when we got a renewal of our mandate.

“This was to guide us in our quest to position the hospital among the league of hospitals of international repute. The vision we are running with is, to be the leading provider of quality healthcare solutions in West Africa.” 

“To achieve this, we identified staff and patient satisfaction as critical indices. Having a strategic plan document has helped us to prioritize areas of resource allocation so far. We have been able to expand our range of specialised services.”

Obaseki however, announced that the hospital waived N84 million for indigent patients in 2021 and that over N100 millions have also been waived for the same class of people this year.

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