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Sterling One Frontline Heroes: #1000For1000 Health Workers Fund – Meet Jegede Gbenga

Sterling One Frontline Heroes: #1000For1000 Health Workers Fund – Meet Jegede Gbenga

Sterling One Foundation Giving NG Health Workers Fund

Last week, we announced our partnership with Giving NG‘s Health Workers Fund to help raise money for Nigerian Frontline Workers. Currently, health workers earn a “Hazard Allowance” of N5000 and we aim to increase that to N100,000 for 3 months only. If 1000 people give N1000, we can achieve this goal for 100 health workers. And if 10,000 people give N1000, we can do this for 1000 health workers.

No amount is too small. It starts with you. Read more here.

To give you more insight and get to know the health workers this fund is directly helping, we will feature a health worker every Wednesday. Today, we shine a light on Dr Jegede Gbenga whose passion to help the sick put him right in the middle of the battle against Covid-19 in Lagos.

Meet Gbenga…

Sterling One Foundation Giving NG Health Workers Fund

Gbenga’s Background

My name is Jegede Gbenga, a medical practitioner who was inspired to study Medicine and Surgery because of the passion to help sick people get back to their feet as soon as possible. I grew up in a neighbourhood just by a public tertiary hospital facility where my family and I traversed every Sundays and other days to church services or programmes. When I saw patients’ relatives who just lost a loved one crying in agony I wished I could have been able to do something to prevent the death or even bring the deceased back to life. In my medical school days I frequented the accident and emergency department to assist the doctors on duty and to learn skills about patient management in preparedness for helping humanity which is the life I have chosen. I finished from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

The first time he encountered COVID-19

The first time I heard of COVID-19 was in November 2019. I work in the Infectious Disease Unit of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), so we keep tabs of infectious diseases anytime we hear of any. When I attended to my first COVID-19 patient it felt like I have finally had opportunity to help people with a new infectious disease. At the back of my mind, I was worried about my safety because at that time everything known about the disease was as if nothing was known. That belief has changed now based on all our scientific findings.

I do not have any specific moment that was painful, but it hurts when I see a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 who dies because he/she rejected the initial diagnosis and was hiding from authorities who would have enforced the patient’s admission. But the patient will later present himself/herself when little or nothing can be done to salvage his/her life.

Sterling One Foundation Giving NG Health Workers Fund

What’s it like at the Treatment Centre

The team spirit at the COVID-19 Treatment Centre where I work was very high at the beginning of the response. Frankly speaking, the most exciting moment during this pandemic was when the COVID-19 Hazard Allowance first hit my bank account. The team is still waxing strong in spirit although the task is a special one and very demanding compared to other patient’s care.

Difficulties at the Treatment Centre

The difficulties I have encountered so far with working at the COVID-19 Treatment Centre are problems of getting enough oxygen, and excessive sweating with the feeling of wanting to faint because of the N-95 face mask and coverall suit in which I treat my patient for at least 3 hours.

A Special Note from Gbenga

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I want to thank all Nigerians, especially those who understand the sacrifice the Frontline Health Workers in various COVID1-19 centres are making for the patients. I, on behalf of other beneficiaries and myself, appreciate your cash/monetary sacrifices to us through donations to And I’m also saying thank you, in anticipation, the many more donors that will join this train in showing appreciation to the COVID-19 Frontline Health Workers. We appreciate the donations a lot more than you can imagine.

Sterling One Foundation Giving NG Health Workers Fund

It has not been easy since the pandemic hit Nigeria. All the Frontline Health Workers at various isolation centres for COVID-19 have been working tirelessly to preserve and restore health to positive COVID-19 patients. It is indeed a very tasking challenge to play a part in the management of an outbreak of this magnitude. I want to implore everyone to please stay safe and keep doing so by adhering to the prescribed safety measures by the authorities – NCDC and other agencies concern – so that COVID-19 will end in Nigeria.

Finally, I want to appreciate for the initiative of Frontline Health Workers’ Fund for COVID-19. This is first and only of its kind in this challenging period for the Nation and its most concerned member – the Health Workers. I am using this medium to request for continuation of this fund to those of us working at the infectious disease centres where cases like Lassa fever, Yellow fever and other infectious diseases are being managed routinely.

Thank you for spending some of your time to read my story.

MB;BS (Lagos)
Infectious Disease Unit, Department of Medicine, LUTH

To join others donating to the Health Workers Fund, visit now.

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