Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Abia State Government has volunteered to foot the medical bills of 30 residents in urgent need of surgery for various ailments.
This is as the State Government has concluded a six-month long free medical treatment to residents across the state.
Gov. Alex Otti, made the commitment weekend following an appeal by a visiting Bulgarian non-governmental organisation, Revive, which was on a medical outreach to the state.
The Revive medical team, led by a Nigerian of Abia origin, Mr Smart Oriaku, visited the Governor weekend at the end of their 13-day medical outreach, to thank him for the support they received from the State Government and the people of the state.
While conducting their activities, which included consultations, diagnosis, laboratory tests and scans, prescriptions, surgery, among others, Governor Otti told the visitors, among whom were nurses, doctors, surgeons and other support medical professionals, that his administration was committed to ensuring the comprehensive overhaul of the healthcare facilities in the state, including building new ones, in order to improve the overall well-being of the citizens.
The Governor said his administration had high premium for healthcare delivery, hence his resolve to renovate key hospitals in the state which facilitated the restoration of accreditation for the Abia State University’s medical school and Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba.
Both the university and the teaching hospital lost accreditation over two years ago.
The Governor disclosed that government is currently rehabilitating about 15 general hospitals across the state.
He said the administration is seriously working towards establishing a ‘Medical Village,’ which he said would attract medical tourists to Abia and reverse the trend of people travelling to countries like India for their medical needs.
Governor Otti commended the efforts of the visiting medical team, and particularly Mr. Oriaku, for single-handedly bringing the Revive team to Abia.
“I’m pleased to receive you and commend you for your labour of love. It is interesting that a single individual can do this. If all of us who have been blessed in one way or the other do what you’re doing, I’m sure this place would be a better place for everyone,” the Governor observed.
In an address earlier, the leader of the team, Mr. Oriaku, said that the medical mission was solely sponsored by his family, the Late Rev. David Ukeje Oriaku family of Okaiuga Nkwoegwu, Umuahia North LGA, in the spirit of giving back to the society.
Oriaku said that the team had within the 13 days they held their outreach performed over 700 consultations, conducted over 60 successful surgeries, ranging from Goiter, Hernia among others, and had kept check on patients to ensure there were no complications.
He said that all laboratory tests and scans, from CT Scan, Echography and other laboratory tests as recommended by the surgical team were paid for by his family. Also, the medical bills of all women, who gave birth at the Okaiuga Nkwoegwu Health center, venue of the consultation, were paid in addition to ten thousand Naira gift to the new mothers.
Oriaku informed Governor Otti of a new discovery in the cure of breast cancer, without the victim going through the pains of chemotherapy, and pointed out that the team would want to use Abia as the base for the pilot, a request the Governor responded to in affirmation.
Mr. Oriaku, who said he was among those, who had almost given up hope on Abia before the assumption of the present administration, expressed fulfilment that the medical mission which could not hold under the past administration, despite persistent requests and efforts, had been made possible under Governor Otti.
The Revive team, according to the team lead, focuses on carrying out medical outreaches for the poor and the most vulnerable of the society, and is currently active in several African countries and beyond.
Meanwhile some of the activities of the team included consultations, diagnosis, laboratory tests and scans, prescriptions, surgery, among others.