More than 500 Nigerians have received free medical treatment and drugs for various illness in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
The free medical treatment and drugs was sponsored by a non-profit organization known as the National Association of Seadogs, NAS, otherwise referred to as the Pyrates Confraternity with the collaboration of some doctors from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
While declaring open the free medical mission, Ndidem Patrick Inok Oqua-Agbor, the Paramount Ruler of Calabar Municipality and traditional leader of the Qua nation, urged members of his community to assemble at the Primary Healthcare Centre, Ikot Ansa.
Oqua-Agbor, who was appreciative of the gesture, told the beneficiaries in the local language, “I am happy that you have come out in your numbers. Please, go and invite your families, neighbours, and friends to come and take advantage of the free medical treatment.”
The beneficiaries included women, the elderly and young persons who were treated for ailments such as arthritis, eye defects, typhoid, malaria, blood pressure and cold related illnesses.
An octogenarian, Madam Enang Iso prayed God to bless the association for the gesture, noting in Efik: “This is a big help to me. It is not always easy to access treatment for myself. They have examined me, given me drugs and advised me on what to eat and do. I only wish other organizations can emulate them.”
Earlier, at an interaction with the medical team from NAS, the Ndidem decried the high procreation rate among men and urged the association to partner with the World Health Organization to emphasize the use of birth control devices.
“I commend the National Association of Seadogs for choosing my territory for this much needed intervention. I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to you to collaborate with the World Health Organization to curb the high level procreation among men because a woman gets pregnant for nine months, which is once in a year. But, it is different with men”, noted the ruler.
He further stated: “The population rate is still growing at alarming rate. So, I would suggest that birth control devices or pills be made available to men. It is very important.”
Kwaghbunde Gbahabo, the National President of NAS, who spoke through John Nya, the National Secretary, said that the association has been conducting free medical services for more than ten years across Nigeria.
Gbahabo, who commended the traditional ruler for mobilizing the community for the medical mission, said it was the social responsibility of NAS to hold outreaches in different communities for the benefit of the people.
According to him: “NAS is a non-profit association. We fund these medical outreaches with contributions from our members and it is our own way of giving back to society. We have done this for 10 years now and we have touched thousands of Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike with our services.”
“We also embark on our social responsible duties such as sanitation, donating blood to the national blood bank, street sensitization campaigns and lectures on topical issues especially those that affect every Nigerian,” he stated.
Dr. Odoemene Chiazor, secretary of the health committee of NAS, disclosed that the medical mission cost about 3 million naira.