The Nasarawa State Government has expressed gratitude to the faith-based Christian missionary groups over the ongoing four-day free medical and surgical outreach that has recorded massive turn-out of people both within and outside the state.
The State Governor, Engr. Abdulahi Sule gave the appreciation when the team of missionary group paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
Governor Sule who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel A. Akabe thanked the medical team and the entire health personnel including volunteers for their time and enormous sacrifices, saying the state cannot promise them any financial gratification, but rather, appreciation and prayers for them to excel in all their endeavors including God’s protection and blessings.
He said even though it is expensive to provide healthcare for the people due to the difficulties associated with the times, it is important to continue to help the poor and the vulnerable in the society, saying since they cannot pay back, their appreciation and prayers has a way of protecting the sacrificers from disasters and other life threatening and unforeseen destruction.
On his part, the Medical Director, Masaka Central Hospital Dr. Emmanuel Anthony Adikwu said at the courtesy visit to the Governor that the on-going humanitarian service and exercise is not unconnected with the need to compliment government’s efforts in the area of healthcare, pointing out that government does not have the capacity to do everything for its citizens, hence the need for Masaka Hospital to step in and be of help to their community for the good of all.
Dr. Anthony said, ‘’you can just imagine with the teeming population, what the healthcare need would be like if we were not available to help, so we came in just to help, and we have been doing this for the last ten years.
‘’Even in the wake of the current happenings in the country and the exodus of doctors to other countries, we felt obliged to stay and help our people, looking around our environment and seeing the poverty around, we choose to stay back to make a difference, not just looking at what we stand to benefit, but seeing how we can bring about the desired change.
‘’We are offering free surgeries and free medicines, with the understanding that we are the ones to bring about this change that we all desire, as the saying goes, ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ so we are doing this because we want to really bethe change that we want to see”, he posited.
Earlier in his keynote address, the Chief Executive Officer and Team Lead of the missionary groups, HTI and OCMM, Dr. Paul Odumu described the medicaloutreach as timely owing to the rising demand for medical care especially at this time of the country’s nationwide industrial action, and the rising patient population caused by COVID-19 and other diseases, which he pointed out has far outweighed the World Health Organization’s estimated doctor to patient ratio.
Dr. Paul said his organization, OCMM had been giving free medical care to underserved Communities in Nigeria for the last 14 years, treading hard-to-reach communities where there are no doctors, nor healthcare facilities, just to contribute their quater in reaching the ‘health for all goal by the year 2030’ set by the United Nations.
The Family Physician and Consultant affirmed that recently, a sister Non-profit Organization based in the USA has offered to partner with OCMM to complement Its’ efforts in rural community Healthcare, and in May 2021, the two organizations had offered free medical and surgical missions to the Creeks of Bayelsa where over 6,000 people benefited.
He called on governments, corporate organizations and spirited individuals to always assist humanitarian groups to enable them extend their philanthropic activities to the hinterlands and underservedcommunities across the country.
He also expressed delight over his long lasting relationship with the deputy governor of the state which began in their medical school days, and stressed the fact that the importance of relationship cannot be over-emphasized.
It would be recalled that the free medical outreach is a collaboration between Odumehaje Christian Medical Mission, OCMM, Helping Team International,HTI, and Masaka Central Hospital, to mark her ten years anniversary celebration.