Obinna Odogwu, Awka
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State, Johnbosco Onunkwo, has called on the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to declare free healthcare services for pregnant women, children and those above 60 years.
This, he said, would leave them with more cash to cater to other needs of their families as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread cash crunch and imposed economic difficulties on ordinary people.
Onunkwo, in a press statement made available to Daily Sun, also called on the state government to design a flexible welfare package to ameliorate the hardships of the people of Anambra who would still seek medical treatment for a number of ailments.
‘In the advent of the coronavirus and the efforts to check the spread, we are aware that certain policies of the government, as well as the effects of the virus itself, will to an extent disrupt or affect the purchasing power of a number of our people in Anambra State.
‘It is simple economics that at times like this, the burden of such a pandemic and other resultant factors will contribute to weigh down the purchasing power of the ordinary man and woman.
‘It is to this end that I urge the government to implement a set of measures that will see that a category of people seeking medical attention in state government hospitals and primary healthcare centres are treated for free.
‘This will enable them to have some money left to purchase drugs as well as provide themselves with certain essentials required for everyday living such as food.
‘I would have targeted all categories if I were governor, giving a blanket cover for all citizens because I, at this point, can feel their pain. However, I would be happy if Governor Obiano via this measure will be able to cater for pregnant women, women, children and men and women who have attained the age of 60 and above,’ Onunkwo stated.
The Umuchu born philanthropist whose foundation, the Johnbosco Onunkwo Foundation, has been offering free medical care to so many people in Anambra, also spoke on how his foundation would aggressively offer such services as soon as the ban on large gatherings is lifted.
‘We have been in the business of catering to a number of people. We intend to very much continue to offer succour to these people as soon as the restrictions on large gatherings are lifted, covering as many LGAs as we can before Christmas this year,’ he said.