The Cross River State commissioner for health, Dr Betta Edu has lauded UCTH for successfully carrying out brain surgery on Miss Comfort Effe, a 27 year old indigent woman who has been through 5 years of agonising suffering.
It started as occasional seizure disorder which her family blamed on which craft. Comfort was admitted into UCTH in Feb this year when her illness became complicated with blindness, paralysis, poor hearing and inability to control urine which developed by the end of year 2019, about three months earlier before she was admitted into hospital.
In UCTH, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour called meningioma and was initially referred for surgery in Enugu state, a journey she couldn’t make due to lack of funds.
Leading the Commissioner for health to the patient’s bed in the female orthopaedic ward of the hospital where miss Comfort was on admission, the Special Adviser to Gov Ayade on Health, Dr Ushie David explained that Comfort is a pauper from her native village in Bekwarra, northern CRS and also that she has been funded mostly by goodwill contributions for her medicare and upkeep since her admission in UCTH from Feb, 2020.
Dr Ushie extolled the Commissioner for her timely intervention, notting that, Comfort’s life depended on the strong and persistent commitment that the Commissioner offered without which he could not have singlehandedly afforded the needed surgery for Comfort.
Dr Ushie acknowledged the CMD of UCTH, Prof Ikpeme A. Ikpeme, for assembling all the experts and providing the needed materials for the surgery. Without the CMD’s hands-on commitment on that, the surgery would have been hard to pull off because of the numerous challenges bothering on personnel and instruments for the special surgery.
He concluded that although so much money has been spent already, Comfort is in need of more money to pay up outstanding hospital bills including, payment for her much needed physiotherapy.
On her part, Dr Betta Edu congratulated miss Comfort and wished her speedy recovery. She expressed satisfaction with the hospital management for the uncommon fit. Neurosurgery, she said, is not bread and butter. I am very excited that we can have this level of care delivered in our state.
She promised the support of the government of governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade for the giant step of carrying out a successful brain surgery, especially on an indigent patient who cannot afford hospital bills. Dr Betta further assured that she will reach the UCTH management to identify areas of assistance with key surgical instruments that can enable the hospital provide such level of expert care to more Cross Riverians who may be in need for brain surgery services from time to time.
The hon commissioner reiterated her mandate of encouraging and supporting the UCTH and other tertiary healthcare facilities in ways to help meet Gov Ayade’s vision of a healthcare system that meets the needs of Cross Riverians from all works of life. This, she added, will be achieved by strengthening the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare levels in the state through investment in personnel, training, facility upgrade and equipment.
Given that the state has direct responsibility for healthcare delivery services at the primary and secondary healthcare levels, Dr Betta added, it is only necessary that we support the preparedness of the tertiary facilities for optimal referral service delivery to our citizens in those areas where the primary and secondary levels lack the requisite skills.
Finally, Dr Betta advised the patient to forward her outstanding hospital bills for financial assistance from the CRS.
Comfort is currently recovering in the female orthopaedic ward of UCTH as she awaits arrangement for physiotherapy and other rehabilitation care.
On her part, Comfort’s mother, Mrs Omali Effe, thanked the Commissioner for health for all the assistance, Dr David Ushie and the UCTH management for all the support.