By Emeka Ozumba
You may have heard about some of the charitable works of the wife of Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme), and what she is doing for the physically challenged and indigent widows. But you need to hear the testimony of the mother of a baby cleft lip patient from Osomala, Ogbaru, Mrs. Ndidi Ofili, one of the beneficiaries of over fifty free cleft lip surgeries facilitated by Osodieme.
We also have attestations from the Programme Director of Smile Train West & Central Africa, Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi, and the Consultant Surgeon at Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi and coordinator of the Cleft Surgeries, Prof. Dr. Titus Chukwuanukwu about the immense contributions and selfless services of Osodieme through CAFÉ to cleft care which earned her the Smile Train Goodwill Ambassador award.
Cleft lip or cleft palate is a congenital birth disorder common in our society. It is a disorder which causes trauma and stigmatization to the patients if not treated. Smile Train is an international NGO which sponsors free cleft care and has since inception nineteen years ago performed over 1.8m free cleft surgeries globally, over 100,000 in Africa, and over 30,000 patients in West Africa and over 17,000 in Nigeria.
Mrs. Ndidi Ofili
Osomala Community, Ogbaru Local Government Area
Mother of Free Cleft Palate Surgery Beneficiary
“I feared for my Baby when she grows”
Mrs. Ndidi Ofili, from Osomala community, Ogbaru Local Government Area, mother of Oluchukwu, a four month old baby beneficiary of free cleft palate surgery could not hold her joy. She said:
“I am thanking God for sending the governor’s wife, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, to help me correct the anomaly on her baby’s mouth. It was already a very big challenge for me and I feared for her when she grows up. I had no money to take the baby to the hospital but to my surprise I was called to bring her that Osodieme will help us with free operation on her mouth. Today I am very happy. I am praying to God to bless and keep the governor’s wife and her family as well as to make the governor’s second term aspiration a reality.”
The excited mother continued; “I thank God for sending Osodieme to help me and my family. When I was told that she will conduct surgery on my baby for free, I thought it was a joke until I came here for the treatment and nobody has ever demanded any money from me, even our transportation and feeding, they paid for them all. Am praying that God will bless her and the family, and to give them victory in the forthcoming election to enable other women benefit from the good works of our first lady, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, just the way I benefited from her today”.
Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi
Programme Director Smile Train West & Central Africa
“Cleft lip or cleft palate is a congenital birth disorder common in our society but Smile makers like our Mama, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano helps facilitate free lifesaving surgeries which cost about $250 USD and can be performed within 45 minutes. We are here to appreciate her immense contribution and partnership through her NGO CAFÉ which ensure that the patients get the benefit of free Smile Train surgery which has seen the treatment of over 150 in Anambra State and many others across Nigeria thereby putting smiles on the faces of the patients and families. She is hereby recognized as Smile Train Goodwill Ambassador.”
Dr. Titus Chukwuanukwu
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi
Smile Train International program in Anambra State.
“We decided to partner with the governor’s wife in her quest to change lives of people through her nongovernmental, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative. We identify with governor’s wife and her passion for the poor and we are assuring her of continuous partnership. No child with cleft palate should be left to suffer because of poverty; we are collaborating with CAFE to ensure free treatment for them. We decided to partner with her in her quest to change lives of people through her nongovernmental, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative.”
Pix2: Programme Director Smile Train West & Central Africa, Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi
Pix3: Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Smile Train International program in Anambra State, Dr. Titus Chukwuanukwu