Posted by Elizabeth Edozie on Nov 09, 2020
The District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110 Nigeria, Bola Oyebade has just laid the foundation stone of his core project- Rotary Prostate Cancer Centre.
The foundation laying ceremony was held at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu in Ogun state where the centre is situated, on Monday, November 9, 2020 marking the commencement of the building project.
The building monument was unveiled by DG Oyebade, alongside the Deputy Governor of Ogun state, Engr. Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele who represented the Executive Governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun (MFR).
Rotary is an international organization of professional and business men and women who render selfless service to humanity and District 9110 covers all Rotary clubs in Lagos and Ogun states.
The District Governor while delivering his speech, thanked the Ogun State Deputy Governor for giving the club her consent when the club approached the Ogun State Government and were directed to meet with the Deputy Governor. He disclosed that the piece of land where the centre is being erected was released to the club by the state government for free. "There is no better way to supporting Rotary and supporting the project", he said.
"What we are doing today is truly big money that Rotary has committed us to do for this Rotary year. Rotary has a span of only one year leadership and this Rotary year started on July 1st and will end on June 30th, 2021. Each year, each Rotary leadership comes up with a particular project that is big enough and this particular year, what we have decided to do in all of our 109 clubs currently is to have specific and significant projects, projects that are signatory in nature. We can say that we are looking at 3 'S' projects, that is 'Specific', 'Significant', and 'Signature' projects", DG Oyebade said.
Speaking further, District Governor Oyebade said, "This is a health related project. Rotary do a lot of health related projects and this is just one of them. Our project for this Rotary year is prostate cancer building on the one part and prostate cancer screening on the other part. So far, we have screened about 600 men for free.
"We have another project which is the micro credit scheme, we have already given N50, 000 each to 60 people and we are planning to give a minimum of 100 people; that is N5million but in Rotary, N5million is indeed huge, especially when we are spreading it over a large number of people and ultimately, many people's lives will be impacted. I assure you that by the grace of God, this project will be concluded within a short period of time", DG Oyebade stated.
He however noted that a fundraising committee has been formed to ensure enough fund is raised for the project which requires a total amount of N82million, while calling for support from the public for the project.
"No amount of money is too small. As a person, I believe little drops is what most times make an ocean. Prostate cancer is not a man's business, though in demand they say when it comes to a man being down, then the entire family is affected. We don't want our men to suffer anymore and if they are going to suffer, let them be able to manage part of their suffering so that ultimately, they will get a better treatment than they have always done.
"This project is going to be localized here in an hospital environment. We couldn't have gotten a better local environment for this", he added while also thanking the Chief Medical Director of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Peter Adefuye for his support.
DG Oyebade upon conclusion of his speech, decorated the Deputy Governor with the Rotary theme pin as a symbol of her presence at the ceremony.
Addressing the Rotarians and guests at the ceremony, the Deputy Governor narrated how the choice of land to situate the centre was made. "Immediately I got the message from Rotary, I consulted with the Commissioner for Health on the best place to situate it", she revealed.
According to the Deputy Governor, "This is our healthcare facility and we know that if we situate it here, we will be able to fit it into the other services that this hospital provides; that is why we came to put it here in Sagamu. I am very glad to hear that this is going to be a short and sharp project and in about 8 months, we will be right here to commission it. I know that since a Rotarian said its 8 months, I can put my money on it."
"I am also aware that this is the first phase of the project which is the building and that subsequent phases of the project will take care of the needed equipment and to make sure that it is fully functional and able to support members of the community. We thank you very much for what you have done for us now and we look forward to continuing to work together with Rotary on other major specific, significant, and signature projects in the state", she added.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker who was also present at the ceremony noted that she is delighted to see yet another Rotary contribution to the health sector in the state while stating the club's previous donation to the state primary health care centre, contributions to maternal and child health particularly reproductive health, as well as polio eradication in the state which she said are just a few of the club's contribution.
"Statistics tells us that prostate cancer is the commonest male cancer in Nigeria and the incidence is 182.5 in 100, 000, that is 1 in 500 Nigerian men would get prostate cancer and most likely die from it because of late access to care and not being able to afford them. This building will help us to be able to screen our men", Dr. Coker stated.
She further said, "Everyone knows that in any cancer programme, the foundation is early detection so screening is very pertinent and of course after screening is early treatment so with this cancer centre, we will be able to screen, detect early and treat early before they develop any complication from prostate cancer which may lead to death. We extremely appreciate this. This centre is here to give our men in Nigeria the chance to live",
"The people of Sagamu and the entire Ogun state will definitely benefit from this and the world at large will be better for it", she concluded, while thanking the Rotarians for their goodwill.
The Teaching Hospital CMD expressed his appreciation to the Rotary club saying, "We are delighted to witness this foundation laying ceremony for the stand-alone prostate cancer centre, a beautiful donation from Rotary District 9110. The vision of the Chicago attorney in 1905-Paul Harris need not to be emphasized, today is a testimony of what Rotary International stands for."
Also present were the Special Adviser to Ogun State Governor on Health, Dr. Tayo Lawal, a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Gbagada; Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor on Health, Dr. Kehinde Kolade; Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor, Dr. Omolayo Fred-Omojole; Sagamu Local Government Chairman, Hon. Gbenga Banjo; the Prostate Cancer Centre Committee Chairman, Assistant Governor Tunde Alimi, a member of the Rotary Club of Akowonjo.
Other district leaders, Rotarians, as well as members of the building committee were also present to grace the event.