Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
A health expert has urged the Government of Gombe State to initiate a free monthly medical outreach as a health palliative to dwellers in rural and remote communities in the State.
Chukwunonso Ayaya, a resident doctor with Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH) Gombe, told Daily Sun that the increasing number of people coming dawn with hypertension and other ailments without being aware of it is alarming.
The doctor, who volunteered to help Operation Safe Corridor of the Nigeria Army (NA) in its fourth free medical outreach organised for one of its host communities in Kwami Local Government Area (LGA) of the State, said: ‘We have a number of patients who are hypertensive and they don’t know; they thought it is a disorder that has to do with a spiritual or local remedy.’
Ayaya stated that the medical outreach is an initiative by the Nigerian Army to provide villages around them with health care.
‘If the government is to come in and strengthen the service, it is going to be very interesting and wonderful,’ he said.
‘They can choose to make it to like a monthly thing, whereby they employ the help of doctors, nurses, and other health workers, and go into remote villages; I promise they will find patients that are very sick but don’t know that they are.
‘One of the problems we have with health care is that people in the remote area are not able to access secondary or tertiary institution, so most of the time the best thing to do is to bring the health care to them, and this is was the Operation Safe Corridor has introduced to improve the health status of dwellers in communities around them; that was why we also volunteered to come and help them,’ Chukwunonso said at the venue of the free medical outreach in Dukkul community in Kwami LGA.
He suggested that the doctors can provide the health services while the government shoulders the responsibility of supplying the needed drugs and materials as part of its social services to the people.
‘What we normally do during such outreach is to see that the patients are prescribed drugs, then those that are very sick we refer them to health institutions for continued medical management.’
Pronouncing Friday’s outreach open, the Coordinator of the Operation Safe Corridor Maj-Gen Bamidele Shafa, stated that the free medical outreach was a payback to the host communities which have proven to be accommodating to the De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and the Reintegration (DRR) programme of the Army.
He assured that the gesture will continue as a service to humanity. He further disclosed that the gesture is not limited to medical outreach, saying that the Nigerian Army had ventured into providing some of the host communities with drinking water in addition to educational intervention.
The Government of Gombe had always assured of its commitment to improving the living standard of the people through the provision of quality health care, education, and food security. However, 65-year-old Bose Sarkin Malamai, a patient interviewed in the Dukkul venue of the medical outreach, told reporters that the community was still waiting on the government to match words with action.