Coca-Cola Nigeria UITH
Coca-Cola Nigeria has donated $500,000 worth of medical equipment to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) in order to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality.

Coca-Cola Donates $500,000 Worth Of Medical Equipment To UITH

Under its Safe Birth Initiative (SBI), the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria has continued its efforts to strategically reduce maternal and neonatal mortality by providing the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) with cutting-edge medical equipment.

During the presentation of the equipment, valued at well over $500,000.00 on Thursday, November 17th, the communications manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Ifeyinwa Ejindu, shed light on the Safe Birth Initiative as the health-centric strategy with which the Coca-Cola System seeks to reduce the high rate of deaths being recorded during childbirth in Nigeria, both for mothers and newborns.

She noted that the initiative was launched in 2018 to deliver equipment and technical capacity building in tertiary health institutions across Nigeria, which she was optimistic would contribute to bridging the shortfall in the availability of state-of-the-art medical equipment and skilled manpower to effectively maintain and utilise available equipment.

A joyful chief medical director of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Prof Abdullah D. Yussuf expressed gratitude for the timely intervention of the Coca-Cola System in the healthcare sector.

According to Prof Yussuf, who was represented at the occasion by the chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee, (C-MAC), UITH, Dr. L.O. Odeigah, some of the prominent gains of SBI’s intervention include capacity building, helping secure accreditation for courses, and improved medical care.

He cited the cost savings the institution recorded with the intervention which has seen several moribund medical equipments resuscitated, the human capacity built which would ensure sustainable use of the equipment and the role played by the equipment in securing accreditation for certain courses by the Institution.

In his words, “On behalf of UITH and those who would be benefiting from the equipment, I want to register gratitude to the donors, Coca-Cola Nigeria. It is evident that the equipment being presented to us today comes with cutting-edge technology that will aid solutions to complex medical conditions. I am certain that this will impact the entire Kwara State and beyond”.

Ejindu also noted that the SBI was launched in 2018 in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, and US-based NGO, Medshare International, with a view to supporting and strengthening the country’s healthcare capacity in line with the SDG goals that relate to maternal and new-born mortalities.

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She added that this year’s interventions have seen top-notch equipment donated to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Rivers State, the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, (AKTH), Kano, earlier this year, before the donations made to UITH in Ilorin, Kwara State. She indicated that the company will continue to deepen interventions with the possibility of impacting a fourth health institution before the year runs out.

According to her, before the kickoff of this year’s SBI, it had reached over 56,000 families with over 21,000 mothers and babies impacted through its social investment programme.

Similarly, under the initiative, Coca-Cola Nigeria has successfully upskilled over 300 biomedical engineers and 400 end-users with requisite knowledge and skills to ensure optimal utilisation of the medical equipment, and their effective maintenance.

The impact of the SBI could be best appreciated under the background that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), places the neonatal mortality rate in Nigeria as of 2022 at 56.220 deaths per 1000 live births, a 2.57 percent decline from 2021.

According to UNICEF, the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria currently contributes to 10 percent of the global death rate as it stands at 576 per 100,000 live births. This means that each year, over 262,000 babies die due to issues such as diarrhea, infection, premature birth, asphyxia, or congenital anomalies.

Director, Biomedical Engineering Training & Technical Services, Medshare International, Eben Armstrong, expressed Medshare’s commitment to the triangle partnership as they recognise the damage to families that results from high neonatal and maternal mortality rates.

He said, ‘’We are a humanitarian aid organisation dedicated to improving the lives of people all over the world. We just don’t provide equipment, we provide capacity building to the biomedical engineers and technicians aiding their efficient usage of available medical equipment, and this has brought hope to countless Nigerians through the Safe Birth Initiative”.

Various dignitaries who graced the event expressed gratitude to the donors and enjoined the UITH to diligently utilise the equipment for the benefit of mankind.

Some of the other hospitals that benefited from this intervention were the National Hospital Abuja, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Wesley Guild Hospital Ilesha, and Alimosho General Hospital.