By Christine Onwuachumba
Multiple District 404 of the Lions Club International has reiterated her commitment to help promote global health in partnership with the United Nations.
In commemoration of the Lions Day 44th with the UN, the district organized an event themed “NGOs impact on Global Health”
Multiple Council Chairperson, Idowu Anobili explained that the event was organized to celebrate the partnership between the Lions Club International and the United Nations. “In 1945 when United Nations began, Lions Club International was invited to draft the charter in the humanitarian arm of the United Nations and since that year, we have always partnered with every arm of the United Nations. The two organizations have co-operated on many humanitarian ventures including Sightfirst and the School-in-a-Box programme.
This year our focus is on impact of NGOs on Global Health and that is why we invited the World Health Organization to make a presentation.”
Citing the impact of the Lions Club on global health, Past International Director Engr. HOB Lawal added that
“Our theme ‘ NGO’s impact on global health is very apt, given the facts of the plethora of COVID induced deaths and health challenges bordering on poverty and hunger. It also encompasses the impact of NGOs on health. Based on the Community Needs Assessment worldwide observed by the LCI, Lions clubs worldwide were encouraged to help carry out the programmes and Lions answered the clarion call. In Africa, 15,400,000 people were served in the area of Diabetes(3.12million), in Environment 2.57 million, Childhood cancer 1.2million, Hunger relief 2.56 million,Vision 1.2 million and other areas including Youth empowerment 4.7million.” He also admonished NGOs to implement and evaluate programmes that include the needs of special children who live in desperate need and extend love to them.
Engineer Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Deputy Governor Ogun State commended the group for their efforts. “We acknowledge the contribution of the Lions International to global health. As we all say, where there is a need, there is a Lion. Lions Club has grown to become the largest service organization in the world. We acknowledge the role of the Lions Club in the areas of Diabetics, Vision, Cancer. In addition, Lions Club has sponsored many medical outreaches. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Lions club.”
Prof Wale Oke recounting the history of NGOs, identified some of the challenges with the agencies. There is a need to increase research in low income areas to understand the challenges that they face in order to provide adequate support for them and give them the right healthcare solutions that they need.
Some of the challenges that NGOs face is lack of access to funds, over-reliance on donor funds hinders their objectivity and influence. There is also multiplicity of NGOs in the same areas which often results in duplicity. NGOs need to work together.
Very few governments in the world can do without the support of NGOs. During the coronavirus pandemic, Lions club provided support to governments all over the world. In Nigeria, the Lions Club donated 5million naira to Lagos state.”
To symbolize the unity between both organizations, the Lions Club and WHO exchanged plaques at the event.
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