Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
About 10,000 patients are to benefit from the third phase of the free medical outreach organised in Bauchi State by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
Similarly, 77 patients suffering from various ailments have undergone surgery in the state under the exercise sponsored by Dogara in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Doctors on the Move Africa.
The outreach is one of the initiatives of the speaker aimed at addressing health challenges faced by people of Bauchi and other neighbouring states.
Speaking at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi recently, the team leader of Doctors on the Move Africa, Dr. Joseph Haruna Kigbu explained that of the 77 surgeries carried out, 28 were cataract operations, adding that four patients with goitre (swelling of the neck) and six women with uterus cancers were also successfully operated on.
According to him, the NGO had provided specialist doctors and surgeons including gynaecologists, urologists and opthamologists among others to attend to patients during the outreach.
Kigbu, who lauded the speaker for the gesture, opined that it would go a long way in complementing governmentâ€™s efforts in the health care delivery â€œas the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has not been able to capture all Nigeriansâ€.
According to him, â€œPeople especially those in the countryside are left at the mercy of quack doctors, hence the Speaker invited specialists to give quality health care delivery to them. Recently the second round of the free medical outreach was conducted in Bauchi and Azare towns respectively. During the last exercise, we successfully separated conjoined twins through surgery here in Bauchiâ€.
Noting that some of the surgeries conducted would have cost the patients between N1 million and N1.5 million in a private hospital, Kigbu appealed to other politicians to emulate the Speaker and governments at all levels to earmark emergency funds that would cater for such serious operations on less privileged citizens.
He said â€œIn this third medical outreach, our projection is to be able to see 10,000 patients at the end of the Programme. It is expected to run for five days in March and in the last three days we have given out over 4,500 cards to patients.
â€œSimilar programme was conducted by the Speaker last year where over 20,000 patients were screened for various illness and 430 cataract surgeries were carried out. Also, last month, over 1,000 patients also benefited from the outreachâ€.
During the weeklong medical outreach, out-patient consultations and medical check-up with drugs, ultrasound scanning, reading glasses and cataract operations were carried out.
Others are laboratory tests such as diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, public health education on malaria, hygiene, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Lassa Fever, free general and gynecological surgeries.