Construction of a world-class kidney health facility located in Nnewi Anambra State is near completion.
A modern and world-class kidney health facility, owned by Premium Kidney Hospital is nearing completion in Nnewi, the commercial and industrial nerve center of Anambra state. The facility which promises to be the best in renal care across Nigeria is a product of over thirty years of experience in renal care, in the United States by the Managing Director of the hospital, who owns one of the best kidney hospitals in Texas, United States.
Edorji Uruagu Nnewi born Dr. Okey Chidolue is a Board member of Premium Kidney Hospital. He is a US-trained Doctor of Jurisprudence and a former Director at the Nigerian Ports Authority, and he is in charge of the construction of the state of the art kidney hospital in Nnewi. Dr. Okey Chidolue explained in an exclusive interview with The West African Pilot News that he is a Board member of the Premium Kidney Hospital, while his wife, Dr. Mrs. Chidolue is the Managing Director, with over thirty years of experience in managing renal cases in the United States.
He also revealed the inspiration behind the decision to have the hospital in Nnewi instead of major cities like Abuja or Lagos. According to Chief Chidolue, “we wanted to address a specific need which is medical tourism. People move from here to India for treatment that’s what inspired this whole project, but aside from that, my wife has been in renal care in the US for over thirty years, so I consider my family a medical family. We have been thinking of how to fight the kidney failure scourge and that’s how we came up with this project”.
Reacting to the fact that many people would rather have this nature of critical medical investment in major cities for obvious reasons, Dr. Okey Chidolue said it is time to walk the talk. “This is a legacy project and we cannot be preaching that people should come home and invest at home and then do otherwise. When you talk the talk, then, you walk the walk”, he said.
Many people may question the viability of a modern kidney facility in a place like Nnewi where, like in most of Nigeria, most people hardly go to the hospital except they are in critical health condition. Dr. Okey Chidolue said the idea was not just to make a profit. “I understand perfectly that people can spend three thousand Naira on beer here, but cannot spend it on kidney test. So if we had just looked at it from the financial point of view, we would have sited it in Abuja or Lagos, but then, it would have gone against the creed and you know me; I am a firm believer in bringing investments home”, Dr. Okey said.
The project location is equally imperative for some other socio-economic benefits of developmental projects of this nature. For instance, the project will be of immense benefit to the host community in terms of job opportunities among others, and this, Chidolue mentioned as one of the reasons the investment has to be in Nnewi.
“Look at the younger generation, they can’t get a job and you are taking the little one you can do to Abuja and Lagos, no apologies, charity begins at home. We have to create employment here for the youth. You cannot have such a massive project and then give employment to people there when the people here can’t get a job. So the driver is to create employment here”, Chief Chidolue emphasized.
Viewed from another angle, the location of the hospital in Nnewi is an advantage, according to Dr. Chidolue. “Nnewi is a fertile ground, it is a medical community because we have a teaching hospital, so such facility is extremely needed in Nnewi and it will eventually become a training hub. This is what makes a medical community. Look at the medical center in Houston (USA) for instance, some group of doctors came in and created a medical community and that’s how heart transplant came about”, he said. Generally, Nnewi is closer to any part of Nigeria than India. More important is the fact that once the services are topnotch as expected, the facility will become a sort after in renal care in Nigeria and beyond.
As an offshoot of the Premium Kidney Hospital expected to be ready in the coming months, Dr. Okey Chidolue has also inaugurated “Oduma Kidney Foundation” in memory of his father who was a lawmaker in old Eastern Nigeria. According to Dr. Chidolue, “renal care is very expensive so the idea is for the Foundation to help people who need assistance with their treatment secure funding in that regard”.
Beyond that, the Foundation aims to educate and sensitize people to a healthy lifestyle and encourage them to come for free testing, because early detection is key in treating kidney diseases. “Oduma Kidney Foundation has essentially two main mandate; to sensitize people, encourage them to come for kidney testing at the Foundation’s cost, and secondly, help indigent patients undergoing treatment to secure funding”, Dr. Okey said.
Upon completion and commencement, Premium Kidney Hospital Nnewi is expected to give nothing less than the very best of renal care that can be obtained in any part of the developed world.
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