This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Mark - Kanu Is a Role Model

Senate President, David Mark, Wednesday hailed the commitment of former Super Eagles Skipper, Kanu Nwankwo, to his pet project, Kanu Heart Foundation, saying it has helped to address many cases of heart related diseases on behalf of the needy in Nigeria.

Mark, who made the remark when Kanu visited him in his office in Abuja Wednesday, said Kanu by his gesture was giving back to the society and portraying himself as a role model to the younger generation.

Kanu had during the visit, briefed Mark on the proposed launch of a N5 billion Cardiac Hospital in Abuja which he said aimed at addressing the increasing cases of heart related diseases especially amongst children.

"This is a commendable effort by an individual. God will bless you and give you the strength and wisdom to do more. Having the heart to give to the people especially the needy, your efforts would be rewarded by the Almighty God.

"We share in this dream, we identify with it and we shall do all we can to support you so that this project would be a dream come through," Mark said.

He also said "the Senate would within the limits of its available resources support the project so that millions of our people who cannot afford medical attention abroad would be saved."

Earlier, the Coordinator of the project, Onyebuchi Abia, told Mark that the N5 billion project would be launched in Abuja on March 14, 2013 and solicited for support towards it.

He said a total of 452 Nigerian children have so far had open surgery abroad through the Foundation in the last 12 years, saying the cost would be reduced and more lives would be saved if the Cardiac Hospital is built in Nigeria.

When completed, he said the hospital would render free heart surgery services to children from age one to 12 while surgery for patents above 12 years of age would be subsidised.

Kanu was diagnosed with a heart problem shortly after he led Nigeria's under 23 football team to victory in Atlanta, United States of America at the 1996 Olympic Games.

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