Tuesday, January 10, 2017 2:31 pm
Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
A mission hospital, Holley Memorial Hopital has confirmed the death of three lepers in its leprosarium in the year 2016. TheNews discovered this during a visit to the Ochadamu, Kogi State based hospital recently. Secretary of the hospital, Elder Daniel Ameh gave the names of the dead as Ejima Adi, from Ayah Community in Ibaji LGA, Omale Oyibo, from Idah LGA and Augustin Faruna who hailed from Dekina LGA. The deceased were all buried by the management of the hospital as no relations came forward to claim their corpses.
The hospital, has treated more than 800 in-mates at different times since it’s establishment by missionaries in 1948. At present it has close to 40 lepers in its custody and offers other medical services to the general public. It presently has 16 lepers on admission in the wards while the others are out patients living in the male or female lepers settlements of the hospital.
Ameh said they did all they could to save their lives using the available resources and facilities, but sadly, the people still died because the ultimate decision belong to God. “You know this is a mission hospital. We ensure that our services are affordable and accessible. We are more of a humanitarian body, trying to also evangelize and preaching the gospel of Christ through our services. So, we are touched and pained whenever we lose a patient.”
“Leprosy is a chronic disease. Some of the patients can suffer relapse, so we encourage them to live in. When they have problems they can easily be reached and come regularly for wound dressing and other treatments. Some of them have lost their limbs and can only crawl on the ground. Since the condition is highly contagious, victims are ostracized. To make treatment easy, we decided to build settlements for them. We have both Male and Female settlements. Whenever they have issues, we bring them to the wards, for treatment and return them to the settlement. We do not also joke with their feeding and clothing. But when the unexpected still happen, we take it in good faith, because God is the only one who can give and take life.” Ameh said.
TheNews learnt that the hospital became a referral center for leprosy and tuberculosis in 1991 and now incorporates other departments like medical ward, surgical ward, orthopedic ward and an X-Ray and laboratory Centre. It also has a Nursery and Primary school, where children of the leprosy patients are given free education.
While calling for support from well meaning individuals, groups, religious organizations, corporate bodies and government, the secretary acknowledged the generous support totaling N78m from two former Governors of Kogi State, Alh. Ibrahim Idris and Capt. Idris Wada which he said has greatly assisted the hospital in the establishment of its new School of Nursing.
The Holley Memorial Hospital, originally known as Ochadamu Medical Centre is a mission hospital owned by the Qua Iboe church.