No fewer than 800 residents of Awha Ndiagu, an agrarian community in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State, were over the weekend given free health care services.
The 2-day free medical care, which commenced on Saturday, was carried out by a team of doctors, nurses and other health workers.
Speaking to journalists at the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Hospital, venue of the exercise, the benefactor, Barr. Okeke Obinna, said he was touched by the health challenges being faced by members of the community.
The Abuja based lawyer further noted that the programme is driven by passion for service and gratitude to God, stressing that it has no political undertone.
“I invited a team of medical doctors to come and embark on a 2-day free medical care for my people. The doctors from Abuja, Lagos and Enugu are screening, diagnosing and giving drugs to the patients. Special cases are being referred to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital.
“I discovered that one of the major reasons why our people die prematurely is lack of access to medical treatment and then I told my wife that anytime I have the means, I will start a foundation that will help in bringing those sensitive facilities so that our people can access them.
“The starting point is what we have done today by bringing these doctors here; we did it last year in Nsukka, my wife’s place; probably next year, we will go to another community that has serious need”, he stated.
He added that “what we are doing is purely on our own sponsorship; we are not getting fund from anywhere; it is a way of telling God ‘thank you for how you have blessed us’.
“If I tell that I am not a politician, then I am a liar because even in my university days, I played active politics, I was ward chairman of a political party in this my community and have participated in serious political activities in Ezeagu.
“All the same, what I am doing has no political undertone; it is just a passion, a dream, I am not aspiring for any position come 2015, I don’t intend to aspire. For me and my wife, we don’t have any political aspiration unless it comes by miracle”.
In an interview, leader of the medical team from Abuja, Dr. Taiwo Fasoranti described the exercise as one of the best ways to bring about the much needed transformation in Nigeria.
He disclosed that “we have seen a lot of hypertension, diabetes, and a lot of eye illnesses. Lucky enough, the couple that brought us has been so generous to have provided a team of eye doctors as well, with a consultant ophthalmologist, so we refer eye cases to the ophthalmologist.
“We have also seen a lot of malnutrition on the part of children, we have seen a lot of under-nutrition, we have seen a lot of fungal infection, we are trying our best to do de-worming and to explain the importance of good nutrition to the mothers so that they can have healthy children”.
“I am humbled, I am overwhelmed by what God is using one Nigerian to do here these two days; in Abuja, I see a lot of stupendously rich people, if they all start doing this kind of thing in their communities, there will be a lot of transformation in Nigeria”, he added.
In a remark, the ophthalmologist, said major eye challenges identified in the community included cataract, glaucoma, stressing that “I have seen some which are really irreversible, these are people who if we had seen them earlier, we would have saved them from getting blind.
“However, there are quiet a number of them that can be helped, there are some that require glasses; then those we can’t treat here, especially those that require surgical intervention, will come to the teaching hospital.
“I will blame most of the situations we have seen on ignorance and having access to proper eye care, of course poverty plays a role because some of them may know they have eye problem, but don’t have fund to access eye care”.
As at the time of filling this report, at least 800 persons have received one form of medical care or the other and free drugs.