By Chuks Eke
Patients of all the hospitals visited yesterday by the Archbishop of Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese and Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke, as past of activities marking his 70th birthday anniversary, rented the air with wide jubilations in honour of the celebrant.
Some of the hospitals he visited included Iyienu Mission Hospital, Ogidi owned by the Anglican Church, St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha owned by the Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese and General Hospital, Onitsha owned by Anambra state government.
Their jubilations went wider when the Archbishop, accompanied by the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Prudentius Aroh and other Catholic Priests, prayed for the patients and doled out cash for the settlement of their hospital bills. The patients also sang happy birthday renditions for the Archbishop and prayed God to give him long life and good health.
The first pot of call by Archbishop Okeke and his entourage who took off from the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, was Iyienu Mission Hospital where after moving round the wards and praying for all the patients, he paid the hospital bills for four of them who had been discharged and their bills ran into hundreds of thousands of naira which they could not pay since after their discharge.
Receiving the Archbishop and his entourage, the Iyienu Mission Hospital Administrator, Rev’d Canon Tochukwu Okwuchukwu who thanked him for such an ecumenical initiative, said he was excited that a Catholic of his high level status visited an Anglican, chuch establishment, pointing out that sickness does not distinguish between Catholics and Anglican faithfuls
From Iyienu hospital, the Archbishop and his entourage moved straight to St. Charles Borromeo hospital where he also moved round the wards and prayed for the patients, after which he handed over a cash worth hundreds of thousands of naira to the hospitals manager, Dr. Okonkwo as settlement of medical bills for about four patients.
His last port of call was the Onitsha General hospital where he also prayed for them in their various wards and paid the bills of another five patients.