Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI) in collaboration with the a non-governmental organisation, the Pro Health International, is currently providing free medical care to thousand of persons at the General Hospital in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Head of Humanitarian Assistance, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of the PCNI, Dr. Sidi Ali Muhammad, told journalists, in Takum, that the exercise was a continuation of the medical outreach in the region aimed at mitigating the effects of insurgency.
Muhammad said that though Taraba State was not directly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, the PCNI understood that most of the affected persons from the hard-hit states fled to Taraba for safety and were still taking refuge at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and with other persons in the state, and as such needed to be covered in the scheme.
“The phase one of this week long medical outreach started since last year and we have covered Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Adamawa and Gombe. Taraba is the last destination.
“We understand that people from the affected states ran to the relatively peaceful Taraba where they are currently taking refuge and it is very important that we reach out to them and their hosts. Obviously, the medical facilities in the state must have been overstretched due to the large influx of new persons”, he said.
Muhammad said that the programme was already recording huge success despite the overwhelming turnout of patients as the team of over twenty medical Doctor, Pharmacist, Consultants and several other medical personnel were working hard to give quality heath service to as many patients as was possible.
The Programme Manager for Pro Health International, Juliet Hananiya said that about three thousand patients had been successfully attended to as at close of work on Wednesday.
Hananiya said that over 34 general surgeries, eye surgeries, and dental operations had been done successfully, while the team hoped to attend to as much as six thousand patients at the current pace.
She disclosed that the medical services provided are “meant to cover all kinds of medical challenges ranching from the most common to the rather serious, and, at times very challenging issues peculiar to certain areas” with as much care and professionalism as possible.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to our correspondent expressed deep gratitude for the services.
According Mr. Richard Sak, who has been sick for over six years, the outreach is a resurgence of hope in the midst of hopelessness.
“I have been sick for over six years now and have visited several hospitals without much help. I have already given up. Since they started attending to me yesterday, everything changed. I slept so well my wife thought I was dead”, Sak recounted.
Meanwhile, 75-year-old Sanda Dorinya who has a turmoil for over a year said that the outreach was giving him an opportunity to live again.
Dorinya said that he was informed by Doctors that he would die if the Turmoil was tampered with and so he had to live with the pain for the rest of his life.
“They told me that I would die if the touch the swelling. Even if they were to operate it, where would I have gotten the money? So I knew that my life was over and I was only waiting for my day to come and end the pains. But these people are giving me another chance to live. The medication I got to regulate my system before the operation alone has given me some relief. I’m sure I will come out alive and much better,” he said.
The exercise, which started, on Monday, is expected to last till Friday and is absolutely free.