Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, ANPA, is to hold its 2024 free medical mission in Abia State from April 4 – 10, 2024.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo; and the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee cum Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC Umuahia, Professor Azubuike Onyebuchi.
According to the statement, no fewer than 60 physicians and experts in different branches of medicine from North and South America, will be coming for the mission.
The gesture was to complement the efforts of the State Government towards improving the health care service delivery.
According to the statement, free surgeries will be conducted on patients with different medical challenges while thousands of others will be given free treatment.
It identified the FMC Umuahia, Abia Diagnostic Centre Aba Road Umuahia, and Abia Specialist Hospital Amachara, as venues for the surgeries.
The statement said that beneficiaries must have been screened and approved before the arrival of the experts from the Americans.
It enjoined residents of the state with various health challenges to present themselves for screening at the designated desk offices in all 17 General Hospitals in the state, as well as designated health centers.
Date for the commencement of the screening exercise will soon be made public, the statement said, adding that the screening will be bankrolled by the State Government.
It further said that free transport to and fro the three surgery centres would be provided by the State Government for patients from distant locations as part of Government’s contributions in the project.
The President said complicated cases including screening for cancer would be carried out during the mission, adding that Nigerian-based human resources for health including House Officers will be mobilised to join the ANPA team for knowledge transfer and capacity building.
He stressed that only patients who had been screened and booked for surgery during the free registration exercise that would soon commence in all 17 LGAs that would be attended to by the ANPA team.
The statement further explained that the gesture was in recognition of the commitment of the Dr Alex Otti-led administration towards improving the health sector.
According to the statement, the deliberate allocation of 15% of Abia’s 2024 budget estimate to health, is a demonstration of both the commitment and passion of the Governor for a transformed health sector.
The statement lauded the efforts of Gov Otti to rebuild the Abia health sector, attributing the “ANPA’s choice of Abia for the medical mission, as an acknowledgement of the Governor’s prioritisation of the health sector demonstrated by his decision to renovate and upgrade the Abia Diagnostic Centre Umuahia, Abia Specialist Hospital Amachara, and the Abia State Teaching Hospital Aba (ABSUTH).
According to the statement, Otti’s giant strides in the sector facilitated the restoration of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) accreditation of the Abia State University Medical College which was lost under the previous administration.”
It further noted that the General hospitals in all 17 Local Government Areas in the state would soon be retrofitted.