Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
The Abia State Ministry of Health has flagged off one month of free medical services to assist the healthcare needs of the residents of the state.
The exercise which commenced at Aba State General Hospital on Saturday, will offer free medical consultations,
free body checkups, surgical procedures free blood pressure and Sugar test, together with free drugs.
Speaking during the flag of the exercise the State commissioner for health Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, said the exercise was intended to assist the residents of the state meet their healthcare needs, as well as restore their confidence in the public healthcare sector.
She also added that the exercise was in line with the state of emergency declared by Dr Alex Otti, on the health sector in the State, because of its deplorable state.
Okoronkwo maintained that many emergency health needs of residents would be attended to during the exercise, even as urgent steps were being taken by the State government to reposition the healthcare sector.
She said, “Governor Alex Otti, had declared a state of emergency on the health sector because of the deplorable state of our healthcare system.
“The reason we came to the general hospital today to flag off the exercise is to restore the confidence the people have in our healthcare system.
“Our Target is to revitalize three general hospitals in the three senatorial zones in the State within our first 100 days in office. We attempt to restore the hope and confidence of our people in the public health system. We want to begin by allowing people to come and receive free medical treatment.
“Like we saw today we have to refer a baby to the teaching hospital for medical attention. Another woman that had a stroke attack was also referred to the teaching hospital. So many other people who could not access medical treatment were also attended to today.
“We have all the consultants from the teaching hospital, both cardiologists, paediatrics, and optometrists here attending to people. The medications are free, nobody is paying anything to access these services.
“As a follow-up to what happened today, we envisage a situation where people may need to come back for follow-up medical care, to that effect we have instructed the workers to stand by and ensure that those services are available to them because this service will continue to the end of the month. All the doctors have promised to make themselves available.
“We have an insurance system that’s supposed to cover babies who are 0-5 years, we will use that to support the treatment that the baby will receive at the teaching hospital”.
Also speaking Dr Ofor Ikechi, the optometrist in charge of the Aba general hospital, said more than 100 patients, received free medical consultation and drugs.
He pointed out that the exercise will continue for the next three Saturdays to reach many other residents in the State.
“We have been on duty since yesterday making sure that everything is ready for this exercise.
We have seen a great number of patients today. we are grateful that this exercise is happening within this period we are in the system here.
“This exercise will run for four Saturday days. Today is the first day, we will be here next Saturday and the others. We have seen more than 50 patients and we still have more than that number to attend to today.
“Most of the patients we have seen today are those with sight defect and needs medicated glasses for the correction of their sights. The health commissioner has assured us that those we saw today will get their glasses by next week. All the services are free of charge, including the drugs and glasses.
One of the beneficiaries Mrs Ukaoha Eze Joy Ijeoma appreciated the State government for introducing Free medical services.
According to her, “I came for an eye check and I have seen the doctors and I’m now going to take my drugs.
“I feel restored because I use to come here for the delivery of my children, but for some time now when I come here I feel very bad because nothing was happening again, but today I feel restored.
“I’m very grateful for this exercise. I appreciate the governor and the active Commissioner for Health”.