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Kidnapped CMD of teaching hospital regains freedom

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Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Prof. Sylvanus Okogbenin, has regained freedom from his abductors after 10 days in captivity.

Okogbenin was abducted last week by gunmen at Ramat Park in Benin City, Edo State, on his way to Abuja.

Two of his police orderlies identified as Jonathan Odion and Etinosa Erhuegbea, both sergeants, were killed in the process.

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Edo police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the development but refused to give details.

Meanwhile, the Congo Brazzaville government is set to partner with a medical facility in Edo to care for sickle cell patients in Congo.

A consultant haematologist, and collaborating partner of Cellteck Medical Centre, Prof. Godwin Bazuaye, expressed optimism that the collaboration would reduce sickle cell anaemia in Congo.

He disclosed this when the state government and the Congolese government revealed plans to partner with Cellteck, a private medical centre in Benin City, on Stem Cell Transplant for sickle cell patients.

Bazuaye said no fewer than six stem cell transplants had been successfully carried out in the facility between 2017 and 2019 with three others ongoing.

He added that two different sections of the centre would be named after the first lady of Congo and Edo First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, in recognition of their contributions to healthcare development in Africa.

According to Congolese Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Obindza, the collaboration is in the area of knowledge and experience sharing on Stem Cell Transplant.

Sickle cell anaemia remains a huge health burden in Congo where the first lady is leading a campaign to ensure better welfare for the patients, he added.

“We came to Edo to visit the Stem Cell Transplant Centre that is operated by Prof. Nosakhare Bazuaye because we have challenges of sickle cell anaemia in our country. We want more collaborations on how we can gain experience and knowledge.”

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo described sickle cell anaemia as a serious health challenge in the country, noting that his administration would continue to support the welfare of the patients in the state.

He commended the first lady of Congo Brazzaville for sponsoring the delegation to Nigeria to understudy the breakthrough in sickle cell treatment.

Bazuaye had received accolades locally and internationally for providing a solution to the sickle cell challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa.


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