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184 patients get free surgery in Rivers, Bayelsa at NDDC medical mission

184 patients get free surgery in Rivers, Bayelsa at NDDC medical mission

The free medical intervention of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) that targets over three million persons in the ravaged oil region is said to have afforded free medical surgery to 184 patients in Rivers and Bayelsa states last week alone.

In Rivers State, the scheme is going on at the Ogu General Hospital in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Speaking at the week-long free healthcare programme, the NDDC Managing Director, Samuel Ogbuku, said that the free healthcare mission was organised in partnership with Ecclestine Concept Limited to bring healthcare to the door-steps of rural dwellers.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, who was represented by the Commission’s Director, Rivers State Office, Okezie Ule, noted that over 18,000 patients have benefited from the free health outreach in Akwa Ibom, Imo, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo states.

Ogbuku stated that the Free Healthcare programme, which had been providing healthcare services to medically underserved rural communities in the region, was one of several health programmes of the Commission, targeted at changing the health situation of Niger Deltans.

“The free medical outreach has been one of the flagship programmes of the Commission, serving the medically needy communities, with documented evidence and abounding testimonies of its beneficial impact in enhancing the quality of life of the rural poor in the region.

“Between that first intervention until the free health mission was suspended in 2019, over 2.18 million Niger Deltans, who had little or no access to modern health facilities, were treated of all sorts of ailments. These ranged from minimal consultations for things such as malaria or upper respiratory tract infections or children who had little cuts, to cogent cases such as fibroid, eye and dental surgeries.”

Speaking after inspecting the various units at the Ogu General Hospital, the NDDC Director, Education, Health and Social Services, George Uzonwanne observed that a lot of successes had been recorded since the beginning of the medical outreach on April 15, 2024.

Uzonwanne said “The free health missions reflect our commitment not only to address immediate health needs but also invest in the long-term well-being of our people.

“In the first phase of the free healthcare mission, we have taken the programme to seven states in the Niger Delta region. We will also be visiting Owaza in Abia State and Akamkpa in Cross River State next week.”

The Chief Medical Director, Rivers State Hospital Management Board, Bright Ogbondah commended the NDDC for providing a platform through which the healthcare needs of the people could be addressed.

He thanked the NDDC for the gesture and charged residents of the state to avail themselves the medical services.

In his remarks, the Chairman of Ogu Council of Chiefs, Adokiye Chuku, expressed appreciation to the NDDC for the health programme. He noted, however, that the one-week duration for the programme was not enough to take care of all the needy patients.

The Chief Consultant of Ecclestine Concept, Warri Andrew, congratulated the NDDC “for relaunching this people-oriented project. It is my hope that future boards will continue and improve on the programme.”

Present NDDC has changed story of the region – Bayelsa monarch

Meanwhile, the King and Chairman, Bayesla State Traditional Rulers Council, Bubaraye Dakolo has commended the NDDC for organising free medical outreaches across the Niger Delta region.

The monarch, who spoke during the NDDC free medical mission at the Diete Koki Memorial Hospital in Yenagoa, said that the current board and management of the Commission had changed the story of the region, following its numerous development projects and programmes.

He said: “The present board of NDDC has carved a niche for itself as a result of its strategic and innovative projects. The impact is very huge and felt by everyone, not only in Bayelsa State, but the entire Niger Delta region.”

The monarch appealed for higher frequency of the medical outreaches because it is about saving lives.

“Everyone that has benefitted from this intervention today will ever remain grateful to NDDC as a saving grace because if not for this programme, a lot of deaths would have been recorded.”

In his address, the MD of NDDC said that the medical mission which provides health care services to medically underserved rural communities in the region was one of the several health care programmes of the Commission aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu “Health for All, Time for Action” proclamation at the 2023 World Universal Health conference.

In his remarks, the Deputy State Project Coordinator of Derums Global Services, the Medical Consultant of the outreach mission, Oboidhe, explained that 69 general surgeries, 18 obstetrics and gynecology, 434 dental procedures, 79 ophthalmology procedures, among other services were provided.