Christmas: Bishop Ezeokafor Offsets Patients’ Bills at Regina Caeli

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu, Amarachukwu Okpunobi, and Francis Nwankwo

As part of his charitable undertakings, the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, last Monday visited Regina Caeli Hospital, Awka, where he offset the hospital bills of poor patients worth over one million Naira.

Bishop Ezeokafor who was at the hospital to commission projects like the newly refurbished labour room, newly built state-of-the-art funeral home and entrance gate, as well as the newly reconstructed Reverend Sisters’ Convent, took his time to inspect the facilities and wards at the hospital.

The charismatic and influential prelate, who took up such unscheduled expenses while going round the wards, said he was deeply touched by the cries of some patients who had overstayed their welcome in the hospital owing to lack of finances.

The bishop on seeing the hapless patients quickly reached out to the Manager of the hospital, Rev Fr. Innocent Affusim, and asked him to prepare their bills at his expense, adding that he would clear all debts owed by the patients.

The bills, Fides gathered, amounted to over a million Naira. A breakdown of the bills is  as follows: MrChijiokeNwoye Peter, an accident victim from Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State – N287, 000; Mr Kenneth Onah, an accident victim from Nsukka, Enugu State – N443, 000 and MrIfeanyiNebe, an accident victim from Ogbunka in Orumba South – N380,000 Naira, among other life enhancing assistance rendered by the bishop.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Onah said they would be forever grateful to Bishop Ezeokafor for his kind gesture and humane spirit, acknowledging that they were indeed lucky to have crossed Bishop Ezeokafor’s path.

Earlier in a homily, the Local Ordinary described Regina Caeli Hospital as one of the apostolates of the diocese, saying that it was built to cater for the sick people and not necessarily for profit making, even as he said that the doctors and nurses, Management and staff members were being paid from the proceeds made from the services rendered.

The outspoken cleric called on public spirited individuals to assist the hospital financially and materially, stating that without donations and other forms of support there was no way the hospital would attain its full potentials.

Those who accompanied the bishop to the visit included the Chancellor, Catholic Diocese of Awka, Very Rev Fr Dr Francis Chidume; the Director of Social Communications and Director of Fides Media, Rev Fr Dr Martin Anusi; the Mother General of the Daughters of Divine Love (DDL), Rev Mother Mary Anastasia Dike; the Chief Medical Director of ChukwuemekaOdumegwuOjukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, Dr Joe Akabuike, among others.