As the industrial action by the Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) lingers, some concerned stakeholders have stepped into the breach to provide free healthcare services to needy people in Delta State.
To mitigate the negative impacts of the ongoing strike action by public health workers on the citizenry, especially the less economically endowed, the Anioma Association of Nigeria Incorporation, Georgia in the United States of America, has provided free healthcare services to Deltans.
It was gathered that no fewer than 1,000 persons benefited from the free medical treatment provided by the association, penultimate weekend in Asaba, the state capital.
The free medical programme, sponsored and organised by sons and daughters of Anioma living in Georgia in collaboration with a team of health personnel within Nigeria, attended to patients with various degrees of sickness.
The two-day exercise, held recently at Asaba Girls Grammar School, off Nnebisi road, was not restricted to any age category, as men, women, youths, children and the aged were treated and given drugs free of charge.
Speaking, the Chairman, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Isioma Okobah lauded the organisers of the programme for bringing free medical services to the people to complement the State governmentâ€™s health for all Deltans initiative.
Noting the timeliness of the programme which took place when the JOHESU were on nationwide indefinite strike, she said the free health programme was very helpful as it would ameliorate the suffering of the people in solving their health challenges.
Okobah, who joined the team of medical professionals to attend to patients, said she was happy to do what she always loved to do again, as she consulted for several hours before taking her leave to attend to other engagements.
The team also had a dental section where persons with toothaches and other oral health challenges were offered treatment and counseled on oral health and hygiene. There was also eye clinic section where persons with eye problems were treated, with free eye-glasses also given to such patients.
Leader of the team, Mr. Patrick Nkemdiche, noted that the philosophy behind the free healthcare programme by the Anioma Association Incorporation was the obligation to give back to the people, especially the less privileged in the society. He added that it was a humanitarian gesture aimed at complementing governmentâ€™s efforts on healthcare provision.
He expressed surprise on discovering that high blood pressure, which hitherto was associated with the aged, has now extended to the youths, with most of those attended to diagnosed with high BP in the range of 160 to 155. He urged those affected to go for random medical checkup, watch their salt intake, check their lifestyle and do more exercises.
Another member of the team, Dr. Sunny Ikemdiche, listed the free health services offered to include oral health, stress management, arthritis, personal hygiene, nutrition, eye disorder etc, adding, “our motivation is to give back to the society with particular focus on the less privileged, because we felt we have been blessed by God and needed to make our people feel the impact of Godâ€™s blessings in our lives.”
He urged other privileged associations and well-meaning Nigerians, including those in the Diaspora to give in any way they can to the society, in a bid to leave a worthy legacy.