As the free medical intervention by the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative enters day three, beneficiaries commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to ensure that the people of the zone live healthy lives.
The intervention tagged Medical Outreach began on Monday, March 5, 2018 in Gombe, Gombe State, targeting about five thousand people, who cannot afford to pay for their medical bills.
Some of those who first got treated at the outreach, spoke with Voice of Nigeria, on how grateful they were for the intervention by President Buhari.
Mrs. Zainab Hassan was the first person to register with the medical team and get treated first.
Her relation, Suwaiba, who spoke on behalf on her behalf, said Zainab had struggled with Fibroid for about four years and had tried to get it removed, but could not get the needed money for the surgery, but were now grateful that her sister was successfully operated on and well.
She is grateful to President Buhari for the intervention and prayed that God would in turn give him sound health and long life.
Mrs. Ramatu Sintali, who also spoke on behalf of her sister, Mrs. Maimuna Mohammed Riga, is also very grateful to President Buhari for intervening to provide the free medical intervention, because they had moved from hospital to hospital to get help, until it came through the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative, free of charge.
“She had struggled with this ailment for about three years now, which is stomach ache, upon stomach ache and that whenever she was menstruating, she would bleed so much with pains. When it stopped, water-like substance would be flowing from her and while receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, she was told that surgery was the only option. That was when we were referred to the Women and Children’s Hospital and they started with US. We want to use this opportunity therefore to thank Baba Buhari for this great gesture. May God bless him and his government. For those who have received treatment, we pray that they will recover fully,” said patient relative, Mrs. Sintali.
Speaking to journalists in Gombe shortly after inspecting the wards and sections at the Gombe State Women and Children Hospital, the Vice Chairman of the initiative, Alhaji Titjani Musa Tumsa, said the free medical outreach was meant for host communities where the Internally Displaced Persons reside.
Alhaji Tumsa said the intervention was modelled in the Strategic Implementation Framework of the Buhari Plan, as an intervention for people that could not afford to pay for medical bills in the North East.
According to Alhaji Tumsa, the target of the seven days medical intervention is targeting about five thousand children and adults in Gombe State.
He said the free medical intervention would focus on providing health services for those with eye problems, simple surgeries and other medical services.
“The target of this outreach is to be able to provide this outreach that is free to all comers that are able to come here. The Medical Outreach Programme is an intervention that is modelled in the Strategic Implementation Framework of the Buhari Plan. That is, as it regards intervention in the North-East,” said Alhaji Tumsa.
The Free Medical Outreach by the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative is being carried out in collaboration with the State Government, which is providing its facility, the Women and Children Hospital.
Although the hospital is yet to be commissioned, thousands of patience with about 100 medical personnel, which is made up of more than 30 Medical Doctors, as well as many pharmacists, nurses, lab technicians and volunteers.
The initiative says five thousands patients were being targeted, but that most often, more than that number end up being treated, because of the need in the society and as was always able to accommodate the number that turns up within the stipulated days.
The Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative, Alhaji titjani Musa Tums, said , there were also volunteers who have sacrifice their time and resources to ensure the smooth conduct of the free medical services for the thousands that have gathered.
“ It is a very, very good idea and a lot of people are accessing healthcare, particularly in eye care, dental care and operations that are relief in nature, hernia operations, and simple operations that the doctors here can do. And these all come in at no cost. There are accumulative number of about one hundred medical personnel, comprising of over 30 medical doctors, and also the other components, Pharmacists, Nurses and volunteers,” said the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative.
Speaking on the different services being provided Dr. Samson Egbunu, is the Coordinator of the Medical Outreach, a doctor with Pro-Health International in Nigeria.
“We are covering General Out-Patient treatments, consultations basically and treatment, to be given free medications. We have a team of surgeons, who are carrying out general surgery. We have specialists surgeries too, Obstetrics and gynaecologists are there, you know, we have other specialists that would be coming in during the week to carry out various surgical procedures,” Dr. Egbunu said.
More and more people continue to troop into the medical facility to get treated for free till Sunday March 11, 2018, where various teams of medical doctors and personnel will be on ground in Gombe to offer health services to the people who cannot afford health care.
According to the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative, all those who turn up would be attended to.