Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ethan Rose Foundation recently carried out free treatment for 150 senior citizens at the Bayelsa Specialist Hospital, Yenagoa.
The medical outreach, tagged Patient Service Week, was in partnership with the Bayelsa Special Hospital, which created the week to give back to society.
Executive secretary of the foundation, Ms Annette David-West, said the idea of the medical outreach was to curb ill health among Bayelsans, with a special focus on the elderly for this particular event.
She explained that the foundation zeroed in on the elderly because, more often than not, they were not remembered by many groups: “The Patient Service Week is all about giving back. The Bayelsa State Specialist Hospital asked to partner with us as part of giving back to the society. This is all Ethan Rose foundation is all about, giving back. We found the programme laudable, something we could key into, given that we already had series of medical outreaches planned for the elderly.
“We have many foundations that talk about the child-girl, boy-child, youths and women. I personally have passion for the youths but nobody seems to focus on the elderly. For Ethan Rose Foundation, we looked at where people have neglected and we zeroed in on the elderly. We would all get old someday, so let us try to get to build ourselves into getting old. We would go to communities to reach out to people that could not come to the Yenagoa.
“Our main motivation is giving back. We would get to that age at some point in our life, God willing. And when you bless the old and they bless you back, that blessing is beyond anything you can think of. For me, that is number one.”
Chief executive officer of Bayelsa Specialist Hospital, Cynthia Oye, explained that the motivation for the Patient Service Week was the corporate social responsibility obligation of the hospital to Bayelsans for their patronage.
“This is the second edition of our Patient Service Week. The reason why we organised the week is that it is part of our CSR to Bayelsans and to appreciate the people for their patronage. The objective of this is to reach out to people unable to access medical care because of availability. This is to give them hope and give them medical care, even if they are cash-strapped. Ethan Rose Foundation is interested in giving back to the society and more specifically focus on helping the elderly. So, they thought it wise to partner with us to achieve their objective,” Oye said.
Amare Egbuson, head of corporate communication and public affairs, Bayelsa Specialist Hospital, stated that the department was established to create awareness about the health of the people.
“A lot of people in Bayelsa State hardly believe in medical things. They believe in their herbs and massage, instead of treatment. The only way to create the awareness is to continue to do outreaches like this,” she said.
A 70-year-old man, Joseph Amain, a beneficiary, commended Ethan Rose Foundation and the Bayelsa Specialist Hospital for the medical outreach specially designed for the elderly: “This programme is good. It is very good and beneficial. I was not expecting anything like this for the elderly. The organisers have tried; God will continue to bless them. I implore more groups and organisation to do such things for us.”
Another beneficiary, 63-year-old Taribo Samuel, agreed with Amain, noting that the organisers should consider extending the number of days in the next edition.
“This programme is good, though the three days is small compared to people that want to benefit. Next time the days should be more than this,” he said.
Walson Odumeye, 72, said he would remain eternally grateful to the foundation for saving his life from the imminent disaster of high blood pressure.
“I thank God that people came up with this idea of helping the elderly. It would go a long way for us. Like myself, I was not having a feeling that my BP had gone so high but as I came I found out that my BP was higher than what it should be. Though I was not feeling it, but I know it could result in other things. So, coming here to check and do other tests has really helped me,” he said.