… makes case for universal health coverage
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria has decried the prevalence of ailments it mentioned as haenia, hypertension , diabetes and a host of others in Anambra state and the country at large.
The association said that farmers, labourers and some other individuals who engaged in hard labour were more susceptible to haenia stressing that there was need for government to launch a universal health coverage that would offset the medical expenses people cannot pay for to guarantee quality health care for the citizenry.
Chairman of MDCAN Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital chapter Nnewi Dr. Eric Onyekwuaba who made the observations at Mbaukwu general hospital Awka-South local government area of Anambra state during the association’s three-day free medical outreach to the area on Thursday, said that there was need to extend medical services to the rural areas especially where the rural populace cannot pay for surgical operations.
Onyekwuaba said MDCAN’s annual medical mission to the countryside was a veritable platform for awareness creation for the people at the grassroots to take their medical needs seriously to avoid negligent deaths resulting from complications, pointing out that the prevalence of the ailments was as a result of poor health practices.
He also said that another very important reason why the association took medical services to villages and communities in Anambra state was to drag government to the rural areas where the teeming population of people needed medical services, adding that the association chose areas away from urban centres so as to reach out to people who do not have access to health care services. He took cognisance of the fact that MDCAN’S annual free medical outreach to rural areas was the association’s civic responsibility to the general public especially the rural populace.
Chairman of the 2018 Outreach Committee Dr. Timothy Uzoma Mbaeri said they conducted free surgical operations, gave free medications, conducted free eye test as well as issued free medicated eye glasses and a host of others even as he observed that health care in Nigeria was nothing to write home about.
He said each of the surgeries carried out cost about three hundred thousand naira but they did it free of charge for the patients adding that they did about 60 surgeries in the course of the outreach.
On the other hand, the medical officer in-charge of Mbaukwu general hospital Dr. Ijeamka Imo said the medical outreach was timely as it would create the desired awareness in the area because prior to the outreach, people of the community and other neighbouring communities did not come to patronise the hospital due to dilapidated structures and security challenges in the hospital. He added that the medical outreach would help change the stereotypes the people had about the hospital.