Ben Ezechime, Enugu
A District Governor of Rotary International Club, Mrs Grace Okaro, has said that the club sponsored 16 surgeons and two volunteers from India to assist the less-privileged patients in Enugu State at no cost.
Okaro disclosed this in Enugu at the flag-off of the programme, “joint district free medical mission,” at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane.
She said that Rotary as a service organisation was bound to carry out service in areas, including disease prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, among others.
Okaro explained that in the visiting team includes a vocational team of doctors in various areas that would perform surgeries free of charge on those who cannot afford their hospital bills.
She pointed out that the organisers of the programme are Rotarians from three districts, including district 9142, which covers South-East – Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
She said that the third district was 3203 which is India district, noting that the programme would last for 10 days.
Okaro hinted that the programme intends to handle as many patients as possible who would present their cases within the stipulated period.
Also speaking, the leader of the medical team from India, Dr. E. K. Sagadhevan, said that they were on a medical mission and vocational training from India to Nigeria at no cost.
Sagadhevan explained that the essence of the programme was to carry out surgery for the needy and those that have not been able to pay for their treatment for many years.
He, however, said that the team equally came “to train doctors, post-graduate students, nurses and other medical teams in the hospital.”
He added that they also brought modern equipment that would be donated, courtesy of Rotary Club.
The team leader said he came with experts in difference areas like general surgeon, obstetrics, gynecology, ophthalmology, dentistry, orthopedics, pediatric and plastic surgery.
He made proud to said that their first visit to Parklane was in 2019 where they had 600 successful surgeries.
In the same vein, the host primary contact person for the mission, Mr Lawrence Okwor, said that Nigerian indigent patients were their primary target in the programme.
He noted that beneficiaries could come from any part of the country.
Okwor said that the Rotarians had decided to bring those doctors from India instead of some well-to-do Nigerians having to pay a lot of money to consult outside the country.
“It is another way to assist poor patients locally,” he said.
He said that the programme was in partnership with Parklane because “after performing the surgeries by the India doctors, the hospital would assist in managing the patients until they are discharged.”
In his speech, the Chief Medical Officer ((CMD) Parklane, Dr. Hyacinth Onah, welcomed the team to the hospital and applauded Rotary club for their marvelous initiative of assisting the less-privileged in the society.
Ona said that the importance of the visit can never be over emphasised owing to the success recorded during their last visit and prayed that this year’s exercise would be more impactful.
The Provost, College of Medicine, ESUT, Dr. Frank Ezugwu, lauded Rotary Club for transferring training and equipment to the institution.
Ezugwu, however, thanked the Enugu State Government for providing logistics and security to ease the work of the team and to enable them carry out the assignment without fear.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Mr. Tobenna Okpe, said that it is a thing of joy that they had 16 medical experts in various fields and two volunteers who left all they are doing at home just to be with the team.