From Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Relief came the way of the sick and less-privileged of Awka, Anambra State recently as the Awka Development Union Nigeria (ADUN) conducted a one-week free medical treatment in the seven quarters of the community.
The treatment was majorly centred on the treatment of the various eye problems. More than 1,500 eye-glasses were given out.
Some of the patients who came with different eye problems such as cataract, glaucoma, bress myopio, myopia, among others, were also given free drugs after diagnosis.
Some of them with severe cases that required surgery were referred to the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka (formerly Amaku General Hospital) for surgery.
The medical mission was led by the town’s President-General, Chief Amobi Nwokafor, and it covered the seven major quarters of Ezi-Awka, Amaenyi, Agulu, Amikwo, Ifite Awka and Umuokpu in the community.
Some of the beneficiaries of the free eye-glasses, Nweke Anthony and Mrs. Helen Anago said the treatment they got had helped to alleviate the pains they used to have in their eyes.
They prayed for the medical team and their sponsors, the Awka Development Union Nigeria, who they said were blessings to the community, begging them to sustain the programme.
Their prayers, if answered, according to them, would enable others who were not captured in the first phase to benefit from the humanitarian service next time it is held.
The President-General of ADUN, Chief Nwokafor disclosed that the humanitarian service by the ADUN was in furtherance of the gesture by the Awka Union, USA and Canada.
He revealed that the ADUN in the Diaspora had carried out medical mission in May for patients suffering from diabetes and other ailments, which, according to him, could be treated without surgery in the community.
He noted that the 2017 medical mission on free eye test, free eye-glasses, free screening and treatment for hypertension and related illnesses was part of the union’s community service aimed at assisting the natives to take care of their eyes.
“Our kind of union practice is purely community service. Before now, we don’t wait for any government to do anything for us; we believe we can do it ourselves. This aspect of community service tagged ADUN Medical Mission, is targeted at conducting free eye tests and distribution of free eye-glasses to the indigenes of Awka.
“This particular project was targets at 1,500 people within seven days but I can tell you that we surpassed that number and it is a programme that will continue from time to time until every other Awka indigene that has eye problem is diagnosed and treated free by the union,” he said.
The PG while assuring those not captured in the medical mission to exercise patience, however, decried the rate of development in the state capital.
He blamed successive governments for the underdevelopment and called on the present administration to match action with words in providing dividends of democracy to the people.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of ADUN, Mr Anaekwe Emenike, thanked God for a successful 2017 medical mission and the impressive turnout for the exercise.
He said ADUN was trying to bring new dimension into the community service in Awka by bringing free medical aids to the people who could not afford it.
“A lot of our people had bad sight but because of the bad economy, they could not take care of themselves and that is why we considered it a priority to cater for the health needs of this people, just to tell them that this administration led by Chief Amobi Nwokafor cares for them,” he said.
The leader of the medical team, Helen Nweke, regretted that women and children were the most vulnerable, but expressed optimism that the medical mission would address most of their health challenges, especially bad sight.