Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Over 2, 000 patients were given free treatment in communities in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State recently, as the Senator I. G. Abana Foundation showered love on the people.
About 180 small scale businesswomen, among others, got packages containing some financial empowerment. In addition, financial assistance was given to some people with terminal health challenges, even as about 1,700 persons received general treatment. Scholarships were equally given to students at secondary and tertiary levels.
The beneficiaries thronged the premises of Uruekwo Primary School, Enugwu-Ukwu where an assemblage of medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health practitioners diligently attended to them.
The free medical treatment focused on screening and treatment of conditions like high blood pressure, malaria, diabetes, hepatitis B and C, arthritis, fastening blood sugar, typhoid, body mass index screening, vitamin deficiencies and other ailments mostly suffered by aged people.
There were also optical services and distribution of free eye glasses to about 1,400 patients who had such needs. Subsequently, free preventive and curative drugs were given to the beneficiaries even as sensitisation on disease preventions was carried out.
Also, 45 secondary school students and 24 students of tertiary institutions were offered scholarships.
The free medical services, Daily Sun gathered, was instituted about eight years ago by Senator Ikechukwu Godson Abana, a former lawmaker who represented Anambra Central in the National Assembly.
Since then, he has maintained a yearly medical outreach laced with other mouth-watering packages for the people. He also instituted biweekly free medical treatment for elderly patients at a permanent location in his Enugwu-Ukwu country home which has run for years.
In his speech, Abana said that he instituted the annual outreach as a way of giving back to the society. He said he had a pact with God to embark on the mission for the good of humanity, noting that the programme has no political undertone whatsoever.
“This medical outreach has been carried out for eight years but when the foundation was started, people thought it was for campaign purposes. I said it then and I am saying it again today, it is not for any political reason.
“This foundation was started following the agreement I had with God and God has been instrumental towards the provision of finance used in running it. The foundation has graduated 77 students from various tertiary intuitions in Nigeria.
“This foundation would be continued after my lifetime, as my children will take over whenever I die. The monthly medical mission is to assist the elderly who have no source of income to access medical services. We have provided these services monthly to the elderly for the past six years and it is usually done twice in a month,” he noted.
Delivering a lecture on health issues at the event, the former Minister for Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, advised people to be cautious about their health and invest more on prevention than cure.
She said many patients who suffer from Asyziema Anamasia, otherwise known as dementia, go through hard times because of inadequate love and care extended to them.
She described dementia as a disease that affects the brain cells leading to defects in some human parts of the body that are controlled by the brain.
Anenih, a former National Women Leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) maintained that people lack awareness about the disease as those who suffer from it were mostly kept behind closed doors.
She maintained that effective understanding of the disease was required to assist patients to manage the situation better. She called on caregivers to show more love and concern to the carriers.
The traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu, Igwe Ralph Ekpeh, while thanking the benefactor, said over 50 persons who were trained in the university through the funds provided by Senator Abana were now experts in their chosen profession.
He maintained that the programme, which was formerly designed for only Enugwu-Ukwu indigenes, has benefited people from other communities.
Igwe Ekpeh stated that the programme had impacted positively on his people and opined that the community would be liberated totally from poverty if about ten persons would join forces with the former lawmaker in providing education to the people.
The Medical Director of the foundation, Dr John Mgbenwelu, advised people to always take at least four to ten litres of water daily to enhance proper functioning of their body system.
He disclosed some healthy habits and charged the people to desist excessive drinking and ensure that their food contains the essential nutrients which the body requires for its effective functioning.
A beneficiary, Chioma Chukwuemeka, while thanking the benefactor said two of her brothers who studied professional courses, graduated from the university through the funds provided by the foundation.
She said that Sen. Abana had given life and hope to people who never dreamt of accessing university education.