The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has kicked off another round of its popular Free Health Care Medical Programme, which covers different communities in the Niger Delta region, as part of its commitment to enhance better healthcare delivery to the people.
Flagging off the free health programme the Managing Director of NDDC, Sir Bassey Dan-Abia, said that over one million people have benefitted from the programme in the last 10 years. He said: “Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has empowered us in the NDDC to bridge the gap in healthcare in the Niger Delta region by bringing qualitative healthcare to the good people of the region, close to where they live, work and play.”
In his address at the flag off ceremony of the week-long free healthcare programme, which the NDDC organized in conjunction with Global Hands Medicare Foundation, at the Local Government Area of Cross River State, the Managing Director of NDDC, Sir (Barr.) Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the programme was meant to bring healthcare to the door-steps of rural dwellers and communities.
The NDDC Managing Director, who was represented by Dr. Solomon Ita, the NDDC Acting Director, Education, Health and Social Services, said that no less than 900,000 people have benefited from the free medical services for various health issues since the programme started 14 years ago. He stated that the commission was determined to make a difference in the health sector through the engagement of relevant partners such as Global Hand Medicare Foundation, Goldspin Healthcare, Total Health-Minders Foundation and others.
According to the MD, “it is time to say farewell to endemic disease and ignorance, a time to embrace healthcare brought to our doorsteps, free of charge. The NDDC in partnership with Total Health Minders Foundation mission came to look into those health issues that have become endemic burdens to you.”
The NDDC boss said that at the end of the free health mission,” the sick shall be healed, the visually impaired will see and given a new lease of life because sight is life. Women with fibroid and men with hernia will be given succor from these ailments. By the time this exercise is over, we would have left you a healthier and happier people.”
Dr. Hyginus Onyejiuwa, the Coordinator of Total Health Foundation, said that the NDDC-sponsored free medical mission made it possible for her organisation to assemble medical experts in different areas of specialization to attend to the needs of people who may not otherwise have access to such highly qualified medical personnel. She said that 282 patients were tested for HIV/AIDS and 16 of them were found to be positive to the HIV virus.
According to Prof. Ejele, 1,479 cases were treated, including 21 surgeries, 108 dental cases and 365 laboratory investigations. He said that 156 patients were screened for HIV/AIDS and only 2 persons were found to be positive. “Fortunately, Ebola is not here yet and we pray that it will never get here,” he said.
The Chairman of Odukpani Local government Area, Hon Bassey Eyo, commended the NDDC for bringing the free medical programme to his locality, noting that the council was always ready to collaborate with agencies and organizations of the Federal Government that provide needed services to the rural areas.
In another development, over 1,177 people have received free treatment for sight, dental and other ailments, thanks to collaboration between Niger Delta Development commission NDDC and Universal Medicare Foundation. They were treated in the course of a free medical programme at Enyiogugu, Aboh Mbaise Local Government area of Imo State.
The coordinator of Global Hands Foundation, Elder Etim Onukak, lauded the NDDC for providing this free health mission for the rural people. According to him, over 1,177 general outpatient cases have been under taken by the team”.
In his response, the Paramount ruler of Ezigaragu autonomous community, Eze Ezinna Madu thanked the Federal Government He noted that the health programme came at a time many people in the villages were finding it difficult to access healthcare facilities. “We deeply appreciate this programme.