From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Residents of Dabi Bako of Kwali Area Counci in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) could not hide their emotions as they rolled out the drums to appreciate members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) for chosing to mark their annual celebration by offering free medical services to the community. The ceremony witnessed a large number of representatives. Women danced endlessly with joy for the kind gesture shown to them.
Chairman, NMA, FCT chapter, Dr. Enema Amadu, stated that the association decided at this hard time to reach out to the public, especially the less privileged, who could not afford to access proper medical care, instead of remaining in the city and doing their normal job.
He disclosed that the service comprised medical and surgical treatment, adding that they were working in partnership with primary health care workers and other professional bodies.
He said: “Today, we are here for medical and surgical outreach to one of the primary health care centres in FCT that the NMA-FCT is partnering with. This is one of the primary health care centres that we have chosen as outlets to give out to the society.
“NMA is a body of professional medical doctors and it is not just enough for us to be in our workplaces, doing our duties and getting paid. We want to use this kind of outlet as a medium where we can come and give back to the society at no cost. This is part of activities to mark our annual meeting of this year and we are gathered here in our numbers to give free services to the indigenes of this community. Instead of remaining in the big city, we decided to come down to this locality, where we know that medical services are scarce and most of the people here might not be able to come to the city to seek proper medical care.
“We are ready to attend to as many as are available. We have also gotten help from the council and other partners and among us; we the members of the NMA have taxed ourselves, gathered funds basically to make sure that the drugs and other consumables are available.”
Matron, Dabi Bako Comprehensive Primary Health Centre, Amina Ali, appreciated NMA, FCT Chapter, for remembering them in a time like this, when people find it very difficult to put food on the table, much less attending to other needs.
The matron, represented by Midwife Esther Sinary, said the outreach was a very wonderful opportunity to the community because both medical and surgical services were rendered at no cost.
She added the health centre attends to the medical needs of about six communities and the other neighbouring ones. She, therefore, appealed with the Kwali Area Council to assist them in putting the hospital in good shape.
She said: “Dabi Bako Comprehensive Primary Healthcare, Kwali Area Council, comprises about six communities and other people from the the neighbouring communities also come here to access free medical attention. We have services like surgeries of different kinds and other medical needs. We are very grateful and want to appreciate them for remembering us at a time like this and hope to see more of this in time to come.
“On daily basis, we attend to about 100 patients but due to the free treatment that is available today we are recording more than 200 and some are still on their way as this programme would last for two days.
“This building has lasted for more than 10 years and it needs to be renovated. So, we are soliciting that Kwali Area Council should come to our aid, and also we need light and more man power to be able to meet up with needs of the people.”
Some of the residents, who spoke with Daily Sun volunteered that they used to travel a long way to the city before they could be able to get the attention of medical doctors but they are very grateful today because different specialist doctors in various areas were available and at no cost.
Habiba Usman, a pregnant woman, said she had been thinking of how to see a doctor because of what she was passing through but today God brought them in different units to the community. She appreciated them and asked them never to forget the community because most of them find it difficult to access medical services due to lack of finance.
Another resident, John Eya, with visual impairment, who was attended to and given glasses, was also full of thanks. “This is a miracle. I was checked, given medication and glasses. I’m grateful; may God continue to bless them,” he said.
Chairman Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya, expressed appreciation to the body for such intervention and appealed for more intervention from individuals and corporate groups because government cannot do it all alone.