Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has flagged off a mega free medical outreach that will provide free medical care for 6000 patients, with medical doctors to undertake over 300 surgeries.
Engineer Sule flagged off the outreach at a ceremony that held at the premises of the Dalhatu Araf Specialists Hospital (DASH), in Lafia, on Tuesday.
The medical outreach, which is been carried out as part of activities marking the 25th anniversary of the creation of Nasarawa State, is in conjunction with the Doctors on the Move Africa (DOTMA), a not for profit organisation and will provide free OPD drugs, general gynecology operation, cataract operation, ultra sound scan, lab tests and free reading glasses.
Declaring the one-week event open, Engineer Sule said the exercise was in furtherance of the state wide free medical outreach, aimed at improving the quality of life, particularly of the less privileged and indigent members of the society.
He disclosed that, the exercise is being organised for the people of Nasarawa South senatorial district of the state, with another 6000 persons already benefitting from similar outreach carried across six local government areas of the state.
Engineer Sule, who couldn’t hide his excitement at the turnout of people who came to access the free medical service, said the gesture is in line with the policy drive of his administration, towards alleviating the plight of especially the common people.
The governor lamented that, mostly as a result of high cost of healthcare delivery, a lot of people are not able to treat diseases afflicting them, explaining the reason behind the decision of his administration to sponsor the free medical outreach.
He called on the people to embrace the state’s health insurance scheme recently passed into law, with a view to accessing cheap and efficient healthcare services, especially that the free medical outreach is just a temporary solution for the medical challenges of the people.
Engineer Sule sympathised with a woman going about with a growth in her womb for 18 years, unable to access medical care because of poverty and ignorance but who will be attended to at the outreach.
The governor appreciated Dr. Joseph Haruna Kigbu, CEO/Chief Consultant Gynaecologist, DOTMA, for assembling an experienced medical team to be part of the outreach.
He used the opportunity of the event, to cautioned the people on the Delta variant of the coronavirus, urging the people to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols, in order to curb further spread of the virus.
Earlier in a remark, Dr. Janet Angbazo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, appreciated frontline health workers, for their continued support, in the provision of healthcare services to the people.
The PS recalled that, a few weeks ago, her ministry carried out a medical outreach in some local government areas namely Awe, Keana, Obi, Doma and Nasarawa Eggon, in fulfilment of Governor Sule’s covenant with the people of the state.
Also speaking, Chief Medical Director of DASH, Dr. Hassan Ikram, in a goodwill message, said the free medical outreach was organised based on the directive of Engineer Sule, for medical professionals, especially specialists at the facility, to the healthcare services to the people in rural areas.
While assuring the patients of continuing with their treatment in DASH even after the termination of the outreach, Dr Ikram disclosed that, so far, 30, 000 people have registered under the health insurance scheme in the state.
He pointed out the state government will sustain the outreach through the Nasarawa State Health Insurance Scheme passed into law by the Engineer Sule administration.
On his part, Dr. Joseph Haruna Kigbu, disclosed that he has assembled one of the best medicaal team comprising of a former acting CMD of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), two neurologists, a plastic surgeon, who participated in the separation of Siamese twins at the ATBU Teaching Hospital in Bauchi and a goitre surgeon.
According to Dr. Kigbu, DOTMA has been operating in the country for 17 years, having worked in 22 states of the country.