Six mothers who gave birth through cesarean operation at the Ilogbo Central Hospital in Ajangbadi area of Lagos in March and been held for two months in have found succor from the Dioceses of Lagos (West) Anglican Communion in Lagos. The women, who had developed complications during delivery, were rushed to Ilogbo Central Hospital where they all went through cesarean operation successfully. But their joy was cut short when their husbands, upon learning of hospital bills to the tune of over N500,000 collectively to have their wives and babies discharged from the hospital, took to their heels. The women and their babies have remained at the hospital two months. But the case was brought to the notice of the Church last week and, as part of its social responsibility, the body of Christ rose to put smiles on the faces of the young mothers. Speaking to journalists last week, head of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos (West), Rev. James Olusola Odedeji said the matter came to his notice on about only ten days ago. “My attention was drawn by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Dr. Nicolas Okoh on June 5, that he read in a newspaper of that day that there is a story about some of our women in this vicinity having difficulties with a hospital after delivering their babies for many weeks. “I personally felt challenged because one of my missions in the Dioceses of Lagos (West) is what I call pragmatic evangelism. The meaning of pragmatic evangelism is touching of lives, community involvement, social responsibility and generally putting smiles on the faces of children of God. And in doing this, we need to be as practical as possible. “When we came here for investigation and found the story to be true, the Church decided to pay their bills and let the daughters of God go home with their blessings of the fruit of their wombs.” The Reverend acknowledged that the hospital cannot be blamed for keeping the women until they pay before they are discharged. “The cost of maintenance is high; they have done their best by saving lives. They have even done their best to have retained them in the hospital. They have been so magnanimous to have attended to them in the first place. “Knowing therefore that there is nothing free even in Freetown, we therefore came as a Church to salvage the situation. These women have delivered through operation but their husbands have absconded because they do not have the means to pay. We therefore came to pay up the bill of N507,000 in cheque, so that they can go home with their children.” The Assistant Medical Director of Ilogbo Central Hospital, Dr. Eluwah Chukwuduma, who represented the Chief Medical Director, was grateful to the Dioceses for intervening. His words: “Ilogbo Central Hospital is a community hospital and, like every other hospital, we are concerned with saving lives and in the process of doing this, we came in contact with these women who are victims of traditional birth attendants. “They were operated upon without paying a kobo. If we had insisted on payment before operation the story would have been very sad. “We thank God that today, the women are all carrying a bundle of joy each and the hospital is not ridiculed. We are very grateful to the Church.” At the occasion, hope and joy showed in the faces of the women, Mrs. Tochukwu Faith, James Joy, Ikechukwu Ukwuda, Ndubuisi Ogechi, Ikpeme Margaret and Olaposi Faith. In turn, they thanked God and blessed the Church. Mrs. Tochukwu said, “I really thank God for using the Church to clean my tears. l am even more happy to be alive because during delivery, l had serious complications and even after God saved my life, the money was not there to pay for the hospital bills.” Mrs. Olaposi also thanked the Church for coming to her aid. “I least expected this from anyone, but thank God who is ever faithful. It was my mother in-law who took me to the traditional birth attendants, but was rushed here due to complications. I have been here for two months now but God has finally showed mercy on me. l am very happy. May God bless them all.” Mrs. Magret lkpeme who has been in the hospital for seven weeks, expressed gratitude to God for his mercy. Mrs. James Joy, Ikechukwu Ukwuda and Ndubuisi Ogechi all expressed their heartfelt joy and thanked the Church for taking away shame from their faces. As a parting word, Rev. Odedeji called on everyone to be their brother’s keepers and lend a helping hand to people in need around them. To the absconded husbands, their wives and Nigerians generally, the Reverend adviced families to give birth to the number of children they can cater for as the economic situation in the country calls for prudence and wisdom.