Nigerian medical practitioners in the Americas have appealed to wealthy and more privileged Nigerians to rally to the needs of the poor in the society, especially in these difficult times.
Making the call for a concerted intervention yesterday in Enugu, the Women's Hat and Tea Forum of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA), during a visit to two motherless babies home also charged corporates bodies, professional associations, individuals “to give back to society without expecting that government alone can do it all.”
As ANPA donated N150,000, a water tank, baby food items to the Nigerian Red Cross Motherless Babies Home and a water tank to the Catholic Church run Holy Child Motherless Babies Home, in Enugu, the newly elected first female president of ANPA, Dr. Charmaine Emelife-Ukabam, said that, “we are privileged to have to do this. With the situation of things here, we realize that we have indeed come to where there is indeed need. Our children, at all times deserve the best in whatever home they find themselves.”
She pleaded that Nigerians should not use the present harsh economic climate as an excuse to stifle their benevolence but should always relive the call to be “our brothers keeper. Admittedly, this calls for sacrifices, but we must realize that if the prevailing economy makes it difficult for us, it only makes it more difficult for them. Every sacrifice will be an investment on the future of the children. By starting with the children, and the mothers, ANPA feels it is starting at the roots.”
Accompanied by other members of the association, Emelife-Ukabam, an Atlanta based nephrologist, explained that taking care of the needs of the children is a better way way of ensuring the survival and continuity of a healthier society.
“If our children can grow up healthy, then they can have healthier minds, embrace healthy attitudes, which is a cornerstone of a healthier Nigeria in a healthy world. This is our mission,” she said.
Reverend Sister Mary Victoria Uzokwe of the Holy Child Motherless Home, observed that since the down turn in the economy, “people don't bring things to us again like in the past; everyone is complaining. We need more things, especially water. We can't have a borehole because of coal. People donate water tankers to us like you have done.”
The secretary of the Nigeria Red Cross Motherless Babies Home, Hon. Tony Udegbu admitted that the home, which was established after the civil war, has fallen on hard times but has stayed afloat “through the dedication and passion of its volunteer staff and good spirited individuals. We can certainly do with more support and charity.”
Emelife-Ukabam promised that ANPA will look at how to make more interventions in future, especially in response to the litany of needs of the homes as she charged the facilitators of the homes not to betray the trust of the public by ensuring that the items donated by members of the public are put in good use.