If Gift Julius and her husband had been able to pay the N250, 000 demanded by officials at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), perhaps three of their children would still be alive.
The couple lost their three children in a fire accident that ravaged their home. The only surviving victim in the fire accident is Testimony Julius, the five-year-old first born of Mr and Mrs Julius.
Testimony was the least injured because he had hidden inside a fridge, as the fire burned. The boy’s name ‘Testimony’ worked for him because he would have died like his siblings had the family not received help from Health Emergency Initiative (HEI), a not-for-profit organisation that provides medical assistance for people who are financially distressed.
Also, Mrs Modinat Ogunmade would have lost her 12- year-old son, Ezekiel to Malaria which grew to intestinal obstruction when she couldn’t afford to pay for surgery, N25, 000.00 for drugs and other post-surgery items that her son needed to stay alive. However, the hope of life and joy located Mrs. Modinat and her son when HEI officials got to know about Ezekiel’s life-threatening medical condition and paid the patient’s hospital bills.
For victims of health emergencies such as road accidents, HEI functions as the victims’ next of kin and ensures that treatment is not delayed or denied due to unavailability of funds. HEI’s interventions in a country like Nigeria where hospitals usually demand payment from victims of emergencies before they are treated implies without a doubt, that HEI is really helping to save lives.
Though HEI has received financial support from individuals and corporate donors such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), United Parcel Service (UPS, USA), Woodhall Capital Foundation, MRS Oil Plc, Business Network International, the organisation will faithfully help more indigent patients if it gets more financial support as it is painful that people die because of N2, 500 in a country like Nigeria.