The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), has
decried government’s failure to utilize the 425 hospitals and clinics offered by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) for use as isolation centres, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CSN’s Director, Church and Society, Rev. Fr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina, disclosed this in a statement shortly after the church celebrated world day of the sick.
TheFact Nigeria recalls that sometime in May 2020, the CBCN had donated 425 hospitals and clinics, in a bid to support the states towards the establishment of isolation and treatment centres, as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had said no state had enough bed space for COVID-19 patients.
However, the director lamented that the government never recognised the great sacrifice made by the Church, neither did it show any gratitude in that regard.
According to him, “During the intense period of the Covid-19, the Church in Nigeria, through the Bishops’ Conference donated to the government of this country the 425 health facilities to use in order to reach the grass root.
“The government in its ineptitude never appreciated this great sacrifice made by the Church, never used one, never showed any gratitude in that regard, yet the Church continued in her little way to show solace and assistance to the poor at her disposal in the rural areas and wherever they find themselves”.
Nonetheless, Fr. Obodoechina noted that the Church waa doing elaborately well in the various facilities, in the various local churches and, therefore, urged government to give subvention to the Church.
“What we have been doing are not enough. The Church hasn’t the resources at her disposal to give a hundred percent healthcare services for everyone is rural areas because she has not that type of resources.
” The government of the country should have been able to give subvention to Church facilities, equip them to give a hundred percent health care services for everyone in rural areas because at the end of the day, the services are to Nigerian citizens”.
“The government is dysfunctional systems and cannot think of assisting the Church with grants, but there are very good examples like the former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Obi, who found the Church, credible institution, to equip the Church, to equip the hospitals and then hospitals in Anambra and the schools in Anambra belonging to the Church where tiptop and today it is evidences that if government partners the Church in such areas that the result will be very abundant. So we are calling on the government to see the need to partner with the Church”, Fr Obodoechina appealed.
The World Day of the Sick was instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1992, to draw attention to the reality of pain and sickness in our lives, and the need to recognise the fact that sickness and pains are parts and parcel of human life.
At the virtual conference , the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese and Chairman, Health Committee of the CBCN, Most Rev. Stephen Mamza, read the Pope’s message where the Holy Father has called on the world to remember those who continue to suffer the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In his message, the Pope expressed his spiritual closeness and reassured all the poor and marginalized of the Church’s loving concern for them.