David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The recent live saving activities of Dozzy Group in Okija; the home community of its Chairman/CEO, Dr Daniel Chukwudozie, in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, will reverberate for a very long time.
Everywhere was agog when the sick, the elderly and those who were hale and hearty trooped out to Okija General Hospital to register for free medical care at the instance of Dozzy Foundation Health Insurance Scheme in collaboration with the Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA).
The turnout was quite overwhelming and more than one hundred medical personnel were on ground for the exercise that attracted the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, traditional rulers in Ihiala Local Government Area and beyond, other community leaders and various dance groups for entertainment.
Addressing the large crowd, Dr Chukwudozie declared that the foundation was the philanthropic and social responsibility arm of the Dozzy Group, a business conglomerate that is one of the major players in oil and gas industry and other lines of production.
He said that the Dozzy Foundation, over the years, had embarked on many programmes aimed at empowering the less privileged in society and offering scholarships to indigent students as well as putting smiles on the faces of the widows and the downtrodden. He disclosed that new schools had been built by the foundation and old ones renovated, among other philanthropic gestures before adding health insurance scheme.
He said: “Today, in furtherance of its social corporate responsibility, the Dozzy Foundation is flagging off its health insurance scheme. This programme is to key into the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme being pioneered by ASHIA.
“The foundation has recognized the fact that many people have not been able to pay hospital bills and thereby patronize quacks. This act has increased the mortality rate of people living in most rural communities. We wish to request that other well-meaning individuals in other communities emulate and key into the ASHIA programme to elongate the life of our people”.
He then, announced the registration of 1,500 indigenes of Okija into the health insurance scheme at the expense of the foundation for one year free medical care. He also added the upgrading of the Okija General Hospital infrastructure and basic health delivery facilities to the bills of his foundation.
“The Okija General Hospital has been moribund with dilapidated facilities as well as infrastructure. This noble idea by the Dozzy Foundation in partnership with ASHIA cannot be achieved if the basic infrastructures in the only general hospital in Ihiala Local Government Area are not on ground. This will include having the right calibre of medical and paramedical personnel, “the Dozzy boss noted.
He said that the foundation had kick-started what appeared to be a revival and remodelling of the General Hospital. He appealed to Anambra State government to assist with the provision of medical doctors, nurses, hospital equipment, ambulance, generators and other paramedical staff.
Chukwudozie thanked Governor Obiano for what he described as his good leadership of the State as well as facilitation and initiation of the State health insurance scheme,” a programme you will always be remembered for.”
The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, said that the idea of the health insurance scheme was to stop the sick from patronizing quacks.
He Chukwudozie for his philanthropic gestures and added that the “government prays there will be more Dozzys in the more than 177 communities in Anambra State.”
He told the beneficiaries that the health insurance scheme cards in their possession could be used elsewhere in Anambra outside the Ihiala Local Government Area.
Earlier in his remarks, Executive Secretary of ASHIA and Special Adviser to Governor Obiano on health matters, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi expressed total commitment of the State Government in the health insurance scheme.
Also speaking, the traditional ruler of Okija community, Igwe Emeka Nnamdi Okezie (Oka-Ije Okija), applauded the philanthropic gesture of their illustrious son, for all his developmental strides in Okija, and also appealed to the state Government to come and invest more in Okija in order to attract more economic development to the area.
Some of the beneficiaries who were full of praises for their benefactor said the gesture could not have come at a better time in view of the high cost of medical treatment occasioned by the economic hardship in the country.
Chukwudozie’s gesture received immediate support from some other indigenes of Okija community as they made various contributions by enrolling a good number of the natives into the health insurance scheme. Chief Paul Erinne supported with the registration of 250 people, while Nwabueze Umeh and Abig Nwankwo Foundation sponsored 100 respectively.