By Charles Nwaoguji
In response to the widespread violence across the country that marred the peaceful #EndSARS protests and led to some deaths with many people injured and hospitalized, Coca-Cola Nigeria and its bottling partners (NBC) provided a N20 million donation to an NGO, Whitefield Foundation, to help defray the medical bills of some of the hospitalized victims.
Over the past three weeks, Whitefield Foundation has processed over 900 requests from across the country, most of which were found to be unrelated to the #EndSARS incidents. In the end, 185 patients being treated in 23 hospitals across 9 States Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Lagos, Edo, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Plateau as well as the FCT, Abuja, benefited from the intervention fund.
The patients are being treated for various degrees of injuries, including gunshots, and amounts ranging from N10,000 to N300,000 were disbursed directly to their respective hospitals on their behalf. Unfortunately, some of the patients have had to undergo amputation and will be provided with prosthetic limbs, to enhance their ability to function normally post-recovery. About 30% were outpatients while 70% were on admission of which 21% had been discharged as at Thursday, 12th November, 2020.
Speaking on the intervention, Funmi Johnson, CEO, Whitefield Foundation said “This has been an eye-opening, hope-restoring and sometimes heart-breaking experience for me. Going round hospitals in person, and also reviewing reports from agents and patients across Nigeria leaves me grateful to Coca-Cola Nigeria. Several people have been saved from untimely death by their support. I appeal to corporate organizations and people of means to support NGOs to bring more relief initiatives to the helpless. The health care system in this nation needs all the help and support it can get. I plead with all Nigerians to shun violence at all cost.”
In a statement released on its twitter handle on the 23rd of October, 2020, Coca-Cola Nigeria, while announcing the intervention and partnership with Whitefield Foundation said, “Coca-Cola along with our bottling partners Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd, are committed to making a difference in our communities as such we have made a donation of N20million to our NGO Partner Whitefield Foundation to help defray the medical bills of victims in hospitals”
Whitefield Foundation over the years has committed itself to social intervention, community capacity building and socially meaningful and impactful programs that have helped hundreds lead a more meaningful life. In 2002, the NGO in the aftermath of the unfortunate bombing episode in Lagos, Whitefield distributed free food support to over 4000 households impacted by the incidence.
During the COVID lockdown, the NGO produced and distributed over 5000 bottles of hand sanitizers to high risk households as well as managing food distribution networks to families in the Yaba axis of Lagos.
The partnership with Coca-Cola Nigeria and other stakeholders in the medical sector across the 10 states is yet another meaningful intervention designed to help save lives.