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Over 20,000 Benefit From Free Medical Outreach in Anambra

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Lawrence Nwimo

No fewer than twenty thousand individuals have benefitted from a free medical outreach in Ozobulu, Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state.

The free medical care involved diagnosing and treatment of ailments ranging from Eye Surgeries, Eye-care (reading and medicated glasses), fibroid surgeries, hernia, appendicitis Lab Examinations, Scans, Counselling, to mention but a few.

The free medical outreach, a project annually sponsored by the member representing Nnewi South, Nnewi North and Ekwusigo constituency, in the House of Representatives, Engr Chris Azubogu was in partnership with different health facilities split across the constituency including Joint Hospital, Ozubulu, Diocesan Hospital Akwudo, Nnewi, Diocesan Hospital Amichi and General Hospital, Ukpor.

The beneficiaries of the free medical services who mostly comprise of the aged and young described the annual outreach as a timely intervention to save the poor masses who have little or no money to meet financial means of getting good treatments in hospitals.

Addressing Newsmen at joint hospital Ozobulu, Azubogu who confirmed he has been providing the free medical care for four years noted that the free health service was not restricted for the people of his constituency but to everyone with health issue and desires to be treated.

He said that the free medicare is a platform he initiated so that people can be diagnosed and get drugs administered to them free of charge adding that the program carried out over 1,000 surgeries in its last two free health programmes.

According to the lawmaker, ” Annually, we provide free medical care for people within this environment. This is our fourth edition and every year we continue to do and we improved on last year.

“We have treated about five per cent of the population and also carried out about 1,000 surgeries meaning we must have attended to about 20,000 patients.”

Azubogu remarked that “people can hardly afford adequate daily meals, let alone helplessly manage sicknesses that force them to early graves. We can’t fold our hands and watch this pathetic situation dominate our society especially at this scary economic time of global recession caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

He further said that some of the surgeries carried out during the programme cost over a million naira in other capable institutions adding that people face untold hardship let alone raising millions to stay alive.

Azubogu who said he involved over 92 medical personnel of specialist doctors, surgeons and other professionals in the modern art of medical delivery added that positive results of the previous edition of his free health program in the constituency spurred him to plan for the fourth edition to go beyond borders of his constituency and touch all corners of the state and beyond.

The lawmaker noted that over 9,000 patients have been attended to within the first three days of the fourth edition which according to him took off the last day of November. He noted that almost 300 surgeries of varying degree have been carried including 200 eye surgeries and over 100 general surgeries of fibroid hernia, appendicitis among others.

Addressing newsmen shortly, the team leader for doctors on the move Africa and a consultant gynaecologist Dr Joseph Kigbu said that there are over 90 health professionals currently executing the programme out of which 12 are specialists in various fields of medicine.

Sharing his experiences at the free medical outreach, Dr Kigbu said his team performed surgery on a woman of about 43 years with fibroid seedlings that is of the size of pregnancy. He noted that it took the expertise of the team to remove the fibroid and save the woman. ” a woman was carrying fibroid for 15 years and the fibroid grows to almost equivalent of a nine months pregnancy. It becomes technically difficult to help her. God has been gracious, all of these surgeries have been successful.

Complaining about the rising cases of fibroid, the Dr Kigbu said: “What is alarming is that the cases of the fibroid are so high in this community amongst the women because most of them tend to pursue their career and don’t get married on time, so the uterus tends to grow this fibroid. We have close to 30 ladies waiting for surgeries of fibroid and their own is big.”

Sharing his experience, Mr Kenneth Emordi of Umunnamehi, Ihiala in Ihiala LGA while appreciating the lawmaker said: “I thank Azubogu, may God bless him for what he is doing. May God lift him. Thousands of people are here and he is not collecting money from people to offer these services. Look at me, I have regained my sight …” Mr Emordi prayed.

The case of Mr Emordi is a replica of an old woman at Ukpor in Nnewi South LGA who brought banana as a gift to the lawmaker. According to the woman, she has been blind for years and would always wish she can at least see her grandchildren and that God used Engr Chris Azubogu to answer her prayer when she benefited from Azubogu’s Medical Outreach where she regained her sight.

At the Nnewi Diocesan Hospital Akwudo in Nnewi, Patients who received the free eye treatments and surgeries could not hide their feelings stating that they could not have afforded the cost of the surgery which according to them runs into millions. They blamed the government’s lukewarm attitude to the deteriorating health and wellbeing of people living in rural areas and who cannot afford the hospital’s huge bills.

A patient, Stanley, who spoke to Orientdaily said that cataract was removed from his eyes but before the free medical care, had no hope of getting the medical treatment because he has no money to embark on such. According to him, the cost of medical treatment in the country is high.

Speaking to newsmen, Mrs Bridget, one of the patients whose fibroid was removed through surgery appreciated the lawmaker whom she said have saved her from death. The 45-year-old woman who hailed from Nnewi said she has been living with fibroid for over 14 years but the intervention of the free medical care from the lawmaker.

Another patient, a 52 years old Mrs Ifeoma Okwesilieze from Alor in Idemili South said the lawmaker saved her from paying almost a million naira to remove her fibroid surgery. According to her, “I have a fibroid that has lasted for 5 years in my body. We have been to several hospitals and they charged us nine hundred thousand naira (N900,0000) but we could not afford it. I heard about the outreach and came on Monday and we were attended to. They carried out surgery on me.”

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