In the spirit of the Easter celebrations, a non-governmental organisation, Rock of Ages Foundation, has as part of its programme to mark the occasion, invited medical personnel and healthcare givers to check the health status of widows for depression, high blood pressure, stigma from HIV/AIDS and other health-related issues.
Founder of Rock of Ages Foundation, Evangelist Ignatius Newman Ezeigbo, said the check-up which is done on monthly basis has become necessary due to the trauma several of the widows were going through and which had consequently led to the death of many of them.
On the N5,000 promised allowance from the federal government to the unemployed and indigent members of the society as well as the vulnerable, Ezeigbo said none of the widows, numbering over 3,000 has benefited.
He called on the government at all levels to live up to the expectations of the electorate and build more hope and trust.
“Every month we carry out this outreach and make sure that their health status is checked. The issue is not only that their husbands died but the load that has been left for them to carry such as children’s school fees and several others. We have lost so many of them due to too much thinking and this is part of the reason we embarked on the monthly checkup in order to make sure we check their blood pressure, sugar level, the stigma of HIV/AIDS for those of them affected, and ensure that monthly, they check their health status and take their drugs.
“We make the drugs available for them. We have trained doctors and health workers. We have nurses that come every month to carry out the assignment of checking them and we pay for them, so we make sure that they get it free. So we keep telling and reminding them to make sure that they are around every month for their medical check-up.
“If you ask any of them, none has collected the N5,000. We hear of it but we have not seen anything. If they have started, I pray that God helps us to see because I know that if one of them has seen and received, the person will come and tell me. So we pray that the government will come and see them. If they can give the allowance to the widows, we will be glad and will tell the world that they have started. But for now, I have not seen anything.”
Continuing he said, “There is depression and poverty in the land. You will be shocked to see the number of people going down because of these two traits and this further supports the 2017 World Health Day which centered on depression due to its high rate which sometimes leads to depression and that’s why we are calling on the government to rise up to its responsibility and give hope.
”Every Nigerian should look around because there are poor people around, especially the widows. They should look within and show some kindness especially in this period when we are celebrating the love of God in Easter. They should look around, there is no need for you to keep so much money when your neighbour is dying of hunger. Extend an arm of fellowship and love no matter how small. You can see that the gift given to them is small but they have been jubilating. You don’t know the kind of hope and restoration you will give to such a person and so I enjoin all Nigerians to follow suit.”