What better day than this day of rest for millions around the world to introduce two Causes that I want to bring to readers of this Blog’s attention: fighting cancer everywhere and fighting maternal mortality while ensuring the well-being of new-born babies in a little corner of Nigeria, the country of my birth. I know that most of us are already involved with promoting various causes but we cannot afford to grow weary.
Various cancers are so prevalent that there is hardly anybody who has not be touched by it: from losing close relations and/or friends or having friends and/or family members who live with one of these: breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and many others.
I decided that of the two Causes, Cancer would have to be one, and the Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C) ad copy being readily available on the wordpress website of which family my blog remains a member in spite of having moved up to its own domain name, made it an easy choice. Apart from a personal commitment, I decided to adopt the Cause for a reason already stated on the SU2C website. If I succeed with the Nigerian sponsor I’m after, and if the sponsor agrees to share the sponsorship fund with a cancer project with Nigerian’s premier university (the University of Ibadan) and SU2C in memory of a person I have in mind, the person being memorialized AND my reason for wanting a memorial would then be made public.
The SU2C project will be difficult for those in Nigeria to contribute activities listed to but for readers of this blog who reside in the USA and who can help, it would be my great joy. We must join others across the world who are racing against time to contribute not just money but through community work to fight cancer.
Please click the SU2C logo to see which of the activities you can participate in.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES’ HOSPITAL & MATERNITY, IPETUMODU, OSUN STATE, NIGERIA
This Blog’s second Cause is a Catholic maternity hospital in a little town, Ipetumodu, in the Southwestern state of Osun, Nigeria. In many developing countries – let us not dwell on the fact that Nigeria should no longer belong in that group from the rich oil deposits from which it makes billions of dollars annually – women dying as a result of pregnancy is still common. Many carry the pregnancies to term but die at childbirth because they do not have access to pre-natal medical intervention.
I will never forget what a doctor told me at the Shands Teaching Hospital of the University of Florida when I had my first child forty-one years ago. I was so scared by the time I arrived at the Hospital that I was shaking like a leaf in a wind storm. The doctor came to the darkened room where I was made to relax to calm down and asked why I was so afraid: “Nobody dies during childbirth, anymore” he told me when I mentioned I was afraid I was going to die!
Well, at Ipetumodu like most of Nigeria, there are many indigent women who cannot afford private hospital costs or travel to nearby Ile-Ife, home of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) to attend the General Hospital or have access to the University Teaching Hospital. For such women in this rural community, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital & Maternity is really Heaven-sent. The Nuns, also known as Daughters of Holy Spirit, run a maternity where the cost of child delivery is a mere N500.00 – under US$4.00! This, of course, cannot cover their costs even though the Reverend Sisters do not earn salaries. There are support staff to be paid, medication to be purchased, electrical generating set to be powered with expensive diesel in a country where power supply is worse than during the height of the Iraqi war and many other expenses common in running a medical facility, no matter how small. They must turn to donors for assistance. The water supply for the facility is from a borehole donated by one of their donors.
To make contributions to this Cause easy not only for readers in Nigeria but Nigerians in Diaspora as well as readers from everywhere, the address of the Hospital is: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital & Maternity, P.O. Box 66, Ipetumodu, Osun State, Nigeria. As I’m not sure the small Maternity Center has a domiciliary account to handle foreign currency deposits or bank checks as is the case in Nigeria, I think contributors from overseas can use Western Union which is very prevalent in Nigeria these days. Before this new week runs out, I should be able to prepare an ad copy for the Maternity, a click on which will bring readers here so that they can know to what cause they are being requested to make contributions .
If you make a donation to the Maternity Hospital, please let this blog know in a comment. You can state the amount and whether you want it to be made public or whether you would want to remain anonymous. Keeping me informed would enable us keep a tab on total being collected. And if you do, or even before wanting to make a contribution if you are in Nigeria, you can visit the town as the Rev. Sisters would be glad to welcome and show you around. It is between Gbongan and Ile-Ife just about an hour from Ibadan.
I thank you for reading this, and do look forward to being able to post reports from Ipetumodu.