It was a season of relief for the people of Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State recently, as residents of the community benefitted from the free medical outreach and donation of drugs by a non-governmental organisation, Chisco Foundation.
Chisco Foundation is the brainchild of Dr. Chidi Anyaegbu, chairman and CEO of Chisco Group of Companies.
The event, which took place between June 23 and 25, was a three-day free healthcare initiative tagged “Chisco Medical Mission 2019.”
Anyaegbu said he embarked on the outreach, currently in its fifth edition, to give something back to society. He stated that, as a businessman, the best way to spend money was to make positive impact on the lives of people through the free medical outreach.
“I chose to do this for my people in order to give them something in return,” Dr. Anyaegbu said, “I love my people; I love them for their kind efforts and good neighbourliness. It has not been an easy task sustaining this programme over the years; but, by the grace of God, we have been doing this.”
“Nigerians are suffering and dying of various ailments. Some end up dying of the ailments because they can’t afford the medical costs. Nigerian doctors are intelligent. All they need is an enabling environment with quality work equipment and regular power supply to practise their profession.
“I discovered there are no good healthcare centres in Nnewi community. Most healthcare centres don’t have proper or functional equipment, and people have died as a result of these inadequacies. This is why I decided to carry out the free medical outreach,” he said.
The outreach was in collaboration ith the Living Hope Ministries, a United States-based religious NGO, which came from the US to distribute drugs and perform various surgeries. Over 50 medical practitioners were deployed from the US, comprising surgeons, gynaecologists, optometrists, opticians, paediatricians, nurses and paramedics.
Anyaegbu also pledged the continuation of the free medical outreach in the community, saying the foundation would continue to give hope to the hopeless.
Coordinator, Living Hope Ministries, Dr Sonny Acho, explained various functions of the drugs being distributed.
He said, “We are here to deal with all body ailments, ranging from hypotension, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, cataract, and every other surgical ailment that requires operation.
“The outreach is also to create awareness on the dangers of self-medication, which can affect the kidney and other vital organs, as well as sensitise the people to adhere to strict prescriptions from medical experts.”
Dr. Acho also highlighted the categories of surgeries successfully performed: “So far, we successfully carried out surgeries on 85 patients with hernia, lumps, tumours and goitre. Apart from operating on 74 eye patients with cataract, no fewer than 1,200 eyeglasses were given free of charge to patients with long sight and short sight-related problems.
“We thank the Chisco Foundation for providing us the opportunity to come all the way from the US to collaborate with the foundation and also show our love and support to Nigerians. We are always ready to come and show our support.”
The surveillance officer of the World Health Organisation in Anambra State, Mr. Chukwuebuka Ugwu, said his organisation was pleased to be part of the programme.
“So far, the medical outreach has been tremendously successful. It has helped curb the spread of diseases in the community. We also encourage the sponsors to continue in this manner and we assure them of our support anytime,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries of the outreach, Joseph Anayo, who was operated on, expressed gratitude to the sponsors for supporting the beneficiaries with free drugs and surgeries. He narrated his ordeal on how he was unable to afford the amount of money he was charged at the hospital.
“I am very happy and grateful to God for this opportunity, and I thank the sponsors,” Joseph said.