No fewer than 7,000 persons, from diffrent communities of Etsako West, Etsako East and Etsako Central Local Government Areas of Edo, received free treatment provided by a United Kingdom based Medical Doctor, Dr Benedict Ifsuokor.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the free medical treatment which lasted for three days, saw 50 medical personnels, from across Nigeria and UK, attending to patients.
NAN reports that the free medical outreach, under the umbrella, “Ogbona Elites Forum” took placed at the Chief C. K. Orbih Comprehensive Health Center, Ogona, near Auchi, Etsako Central Local Government Council.
Ifsuokor who put the cost of the three days treatment at well over N20m, said he was moved to carry out the exercise to prevent needless deaths in the communities.
He said the death of his parents, who were both from Ogbona, informed his decision to assist the people.
According to him, “I was around in March to bury my mother and i was alarmed with the appalling state of this hospital when i visited, i then took a decision to do something for the community.
“My father died in this community and the message i got back in England, was that he died in this appalling condition, the services of this hospital were not enough to meet with his condition as at that time.
“My mother died before me in England and before she died, she begged me to come meet with her people back home in Nigeria.
“I called the resident doctor to ask about the specific services that she will need, but all these were not available. All these moved me into what you are seeing here today.
“I was moved with passion to come into this community to provide these services that are essential and to prevent needless deaths in the community.
“I came in with 6 medical personnels from the UK, joined by 15 from Lagos and Abuja, another 10 from hospitals in Benin and another 6 from University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
“I also came here with two state of the art patient monitor, a diagnostic test, and other medical equipment.
“There is also a provision for a solar generator which is actually on transit as we speak. I Bought it for £10,000, excluding shipment. It will be assembled here in this hospital.
“I have spent over N17m, excluding the cost of the generator. All the cost is fully on me, no assistance from anywhere.
Ifsuokor who said he has the plan to sustain the free medical treatment, noted that any patient with extreme case,would be referred to a Specialise Hospital in Benin for proper treatment.
NAN reports that the Ogbona Elites forum, however, collaborated with the state government in the area of HIV counselling.
The state Head of Edo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ESACA), Dr Flora Oyakhilomhe, said the collaboration was necessary because the entry point to every treatment is knowing your identification, knowing your status.
“All we do here is carrying out HIV counselling and testing of persons to know who is effected, and anyone that is effected, be enrolled into the treatment scheme that is completely free.
“This is because, we believe here that problem identified is problem solved,” she stated.
Meanwhile, he clan head of the Ogbona Community, Chief Willy Idode, has commended the initiator of the free health services and called for support, especially from the government, to make it a yearly affairs.
He said the call became necessary as there are many sick people who stay back home,either waiting to die or be saved miraculously, as they could not afford the cost of treatment.
“This initiative is a very good one; you can see the joy on the faces of everybody around. They are all happy.
“This is especially so, because, we have so many of our people at home, sick or afflicted with one kind of ailment or the other, but because they cannot afford the treatment, they just sit back at home waiting to die or be saved miraculously.
“Since the commencement of the programme, i am particularly overwhelmed withe the level of turnout of people wanting to be treated.
“This is a very strong message to the government that if people or individual, can on his own organise things like this, government should build on it such that it can now be a yearly programme,” he said. (NAN)