Doctor conducting test on patient with eye problem in Sokoto

Senator Aliyu Wamakko representing Sokoto North Senatorial District recently provided free treatment to patients suffering from various eye ailments in Sokoto state. Mohammed Aminu writes

“I am grateful to God for using Senator Wamakko to bring succour and relief to the less-privileged. He is doing extremely well to render assistance to the poor and needy. We appreciate him greatly for what he is doing. May God strengthen and increase him the more. I thank God for using him as a vessel to bless humanity. I went through series of tests and I was given an eye glass and assorted drugs.”

These were the words of Abdullahi Adamu, a resident of Unguwar Lalle district of Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Adamu, just like many patients in the area, was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to Wamakko for restoring his sight.

Eye ailment is a huge burden both economically and mentally, as it cuts across the spectrum and affects people from all walks of life irrespective of age, sex and religion. It is a well known fact that many people in the rural areas are so poor that they cannot even afford the money for hospital cards let alone medicaments. Health facilities are also far from many of the rural communities. Many residents prefer to patronise traditional medicine and local healers , who lack the capacity to identify conditions and treat such complicated eye ailments.

However, succour came the way of rural dwellers in communities across 19 local government areas of Sokoto State, as Senator Aliyu Wamakko representing Sokoto North Senatorial District, restored hope to many patients suffering from various eye ailments. It was a dream come true to many of the villagers, as they couldn’t hide their joy over the free eye treatment rendered to them. The intervention by Senator Wamakko has brought hope to those who have been having problems with their sight over the years.

The 19-day free medical outreach programme for those suffering from various eye ailments commenced January 4, 2018 at the Palace of Sarkin Gobir of Sabon Birni, headquarters of Sabon Birni Local Government of the state. The free medical outreach was conducted by Dr. Emmanuel Aghalu and Dr. John Uzomah, who are Optometrists working for Dr. Awawu Obasi Eye Foundation.

A total of 4,062 persons with various eye ailments which include refractive errors, infections like conjunctivitis, as well as uveitis, were treated free while patients were given eye glasses. The benefiting local government areas included Sabon Birni, Isa, Goronyo, Wurno, Rabah, Gada, Gwadabawa, Illela Kebbe and Tambuwal, among others.

Speaking during the commencement of the medical outreach in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of the state, Wamakko said the programme was initiated as part of his unrelenting efforts to further alleviate the suffering of the people of the state. The lawmaker maintained that health is wealth and a healthy society, is a wealthy society. He recalled that, the first phase of the programme conducted in the eight local government areas under the Sokoto North Senatorial District between July and August, 2017, covered over 3,000 eye patients.

Wamakko, who spoke through his Director of Administration, Alhaji Al-Mustapha Alkali, said the exercise recorded huge success, as many patients with various eye ailments had been treated free. He said the programme initially targeted 3,150 persons suffering from various eye ailments, in 19 local government areas of the state but in the end over 4,000 people got free treatment. “The programme had surpassed its initial projected target of 3,150 patients in 19 local government areas of the state,” Wamakko stated.

The Director of Administration for Senator Wamakko, lauded the various hospitals, local government areas, their staff as well the various traditional rulers in the benefiting areas, for the invaluable cooperation towards ensuring the success of the programme. He expressed commitment to continue to initiate myriad of programmes, to further alleviate the suffering of the generality of the people of the state.

According to him, patients whose cases require urgent surgery would be operated free. He reiterated his commitment to continue to do everything humanly possible to further improve the living standard of the people of the state.

In his remarks, Dr. Aghalu, said the common ailments in Sabon Birni Local Government Area were cataract and presbyopia, which are age-related. He therefore, commended the orderliness of the beneficiaries during the exercise.

The District Heads of Sabon Birni, Alhaji Isa Mohammed Bawa, commended Senator Wamakko for his intervention in the health sector and for coming to the rescue of the people of the state. He called on non-governmental organisation and corporate bodies to join efforts in humanitarian causes to support the less privileged in the state.

Also speaking, the District Head of Unguwar Lalle, Alhaji Haruna Salihu Mainasara, said the rate of poverty in the society, in addition to the undesirable circumstances that surround many individuals, particularly those that are suffering from one form of health challenge or the other, calls for passionate concern by corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals.

He admonished other wealthy individuals, as well as elected and appointed officials to emulate Senator Wamakko, to further alleviate the suffering of the people. “Most of the beneficiaries of the medical outreach are poor people. If not for this intervention by Senator Wamakko, they may not be able to take care of their health challenges and that is why I am here to support people who have health challenges, in line with philosophy of Islam that healthy people are healthy nation,” he added.