Beneficiaries Of free artificial limbs commend rotary
The patronage there is higher than in Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and others because services are rendered at no cost. The door is opened to beneficiaries from Monday to Friday. They are warmly welcomed and given prompt attention with no string attached to it.The centre draws people from all over the country, who usually come to avail themselves of the good gesture and free service initiated by a philanthropist, Mr. Naranbhai Patel, MFR, who has committed his life to putting smiles on people’s faces.
About 23 recent beneficiaries among the many that have benefitted from the free artificial limbs were presented to Patrick Ikheloa, the District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110 comprising Lagos and Ogun States, who made his maiden visit to Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, the custodian of the centre.
Kemi Sarumi, a comedian, who appreciated the Club’s gesture on behalf of the beneficiaries, said those behind the centre brought every beneficiary hope, when all hope was lost. “My leg started itching last December and I was taken to the hospital. The pains became so severe resulting in the leg being amputated. I had lost all hope of walking again until I was introduced to this centre and here am I again, now able to move around. You brought hope to all of us, when we thought everything had ended. May God bless every member of this Club,” he said.
While addressing the beneficiaries, Ikheloa told them that Rotary International loves to do good, such as, what they have experienced and putting smiles on people’s faces.He described the club as a wonderful one, that engages in doing a lot of projects, while touching and changing lives.
Referring to the Rotary slogan for his service year: ‘double the double’, urged club members to reflect these on both the Rotary Foundation and membership development. As he commended the Club for its noble contribution towards kicking polio out of Nigeria as part of its many laudable programmes, he explained that the District has resolved to empower about 500 youths on skill acquisition for this rotary year with financial assistance.
“We are experimenting with partnering with both Lagos and Ogun State governments so that we can reach as many people as possible,” he said.Tarun Sanghvi, President of Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, said in addition to giving out artificial limbs, the club would be moving to the next level by embarking on vocational trainings for the beneficiaries, so they can have something doing and be responsible.
Sanghvi, who described the visit of Ikheloa as very unique, motivating and unprecedented, added that with the road map he has given, the club would thrive in membership development, as well as in contribution to Rotary Foundation.He explained that in addition to giving out artificial limbs, the club has screened enough beneficiaries of cataract surgery and have got a number of 1,600 patients ready for the exercise.
He said: “We would have no further camps on the 13th and 20th of this month, because we have already exceeded the target. We are now focusing on the final screening in readiness for the surgery exercise, as doctors and paramedical staff would be arriving the country September 5 and 6 with operation commencing September 7, 2016 at General Hospital, Marina. There would be no continuation of the exercise at Abeokuta, in Ogun State as usual.”
Samgjvi added that the Club would also give out 20 smart canes to the sight impaired. John Okey Olong, Chief Technician in charge of the artificial legs, also called Dr. Leg, relived the story of the centre, which according to him, dated back to 26 years, precisely, June 13, 1990, when it was set up.
“Mr. H.R. Kabra hit a child, who was brought to Orthopaedic Hospital, Kano, where I was working then, though not on artificial limb,” he recalled. “He later introduced me to the job and sent me to India to learn what is called Jaibur foot.He then started the centre and we started preparing the artificial limbs for free. Later, Mr. Patel bought the idea and the centre was transferred to him, when Kabra had to return to India.”
He commended Naranbhai Patel, who bought the vision from H.R. Kabra and had been the man behind the scene working with Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate to maintain the Centre and carry out the humanitarian activity going on there.“We prepare different kinds of artificial limbs which include below the knee, above the knee and through the knee among others which take two to three days to complete.
He said: “It is worthy of note that for the below the knee, which we produce, fix and give out free, costs about N250, 000.00 in Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital, while above the knee costs between N350, 000.00 to N400, 000.00. This is the reason we should commend the authority behind this centre. The Assistant Superintendent of Police was here, while the Controller of Road Safety also brought his younger brother here, among others. One can also see the reason why people come from every part of the country to receive artificial limbs here. We operate this kind of facility in three countries and 18 States.”
Olong gave the life span of a limb to between three and four years. He, however, explained that the centre does not amputate legs, but only prepare artificial limbs and fix same. He also disclosed that an average artificial limb could be changed, if it becomes weak or there is any other cause to do so. He called on the government to establish the facility for producing artificial limbs in every state and local governments.
“Government should not continue to depend on foreigners or fold its hands, but emulate these concerned people, who spend so much to cater for the less privileged in Nigeria” he said.