The 05 Initiative Grassroot Medical Outreach programme, which will go round the 25 Local Government Areas of the state, commenced on Monday April 16, 2018, with a formal flag off ceremony by Her Excellency, Dame (Mrs.) Edith Okowa, at the premises of the General Hospital Umunede; witnessed a large turnout from majority of the rural dwellers who came for treatment.
The ongoing free health care grassroot medical programme is organized by 05 Initiative in collaboration with Restore Sight Africa Initiative and the Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency.
In a brief speech at the flag off ceremony, the Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, commended the organizers of the grassroot medical outreach for their efforts in putting in place a healthy society for Deltans, mostly members of the rural communities. While extolling the sterling qualities of the state governor, whom he said is very much interested in the good health of all Deltans, he encouraged the over two thousand persons who came for treatment of different ailments to make the best use of the opportunity.
In his address, Dr. Ernest Ogbedo, the team leader, Restore Sight Africa Initiative, stated that the organization solely cares for the blind. He disclosed that over forty thousand persons are blind across the state and it affects mostly women and children, noting that the blind in the society are cut out from the society. Hence the organization helps to bring sight closer to the people, by removing the barriers of accessibility by coming to the door step of the people and also removing the barrier of cost by providing their services free to the people and also remove the barrier of fear because the highly skilled sight professionals are in the project to bring sight to the people.
Dr. Ogbedo, further stated that it is due to the inability of most of the rural dwellers to go to the cities for proper treatment, that prompted Her Excellency, to bring the services to their door step. He urged all, to take advantage of the programme and avail themselves for treatment. He also appreciated the first lady for her humanitarian services to the people.
In a brief address, Dr. (Mrs.) Isioma Okobah, the chairman Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, appreciated Her Excellency, Dame (Mrs.) Edith Okowa and the 05 Initiative for the idea behind the grassroot medical outreach saying that Dame Edith Okowa in her magnanimity has also brought quality and accessible health care to the less privileged and rural communities across the state. Continuing, she stated that patients would be screened to know their health challenges. She urged members of Ika nation to take advantage of the medical outreach which will move to Agbor, Ika South LGA at the Central Hospital Agbor, from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th April 2018; to treat different people with different ailments.
In a brief address to flag off the grassroot medical outreach, Dame (Mrs.) Edith Okowa, extolled the qualities of Dr. Ernest Ogbedo, the leader of Restore Sight Africa Initiative whom she said came personally to her office and donated himself and his equipment to help the world, using Delta State as a starting point. This she noted is a selfless service, saying that “everyone has talents but what God desires is for one to use their talent primarily to serve God and humanity for the benefit of mankind and secondarily for your meal ticket.” She also appreciated the chairman Dr. (Mrs.) Isioma Okobah and members of the Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency and others that have decided on their own to assist the down trodden. Speaking further, she assured the patients that after the medical exercise they would receive their healing by God’s grace.
In their separate remarks, the chairman Ika North East LGA of Delta State, Hon (Barr.) Victor Ebonka and the member representing Ika North East Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri, both appreciated the First Lady, Dame (Mrs.) Edith Okowa and her entourage for starting the medical outreach from their local government area. They commended the first lady for bringing part of the dividends of democracy, which is the free health care programme to the people. The duo also appreciated the efforts of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State governor on the giant strides recorded within the health sector and his determination to actualize the health for all Deltans and the contributory health insurance scheme, which is aimed at taking care of the health challenges of the citizenry. They also urged Deltans to vote en masse for the state governor come 2019 in order for him to actualize his second term bid so that the populace will have a better Delta State in future.
Some of the persons who came for the free health medical outreach, enjoyed the following; free medical checkup, free medical treatment, free blood sugar/B.P Screening, Eye checks, free cataracts surgery, distribution of free reading glasses, free malaria test, free family planning test, free nutrition supplements and education classes, free mosquito treatment nets, free treatment of hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.
Ika Weekly Newspaper reporters also spoke with some persons who came for the treatment, they include; Mrs. Lilian Onyiboka, Mrs. Caroline Chukwuji, Mrs. Ngozi Okpuzor, Mr. B.N. Onyekoso, Pa Festus Elede and Mrs. Praise Ekenam; who in their separate remarks, stated that they are very happy with the treatment, drugs and the free eye glasses that were given to them. They also appreciated Her Excellency, Dame (Mrs.) Edith Okowa 05 Initiative, Restore Sight Africa Initiative, the Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency; the medical personnel whom they noted are wonderful. They prayed God to bless them abundantly for coming to take care of them.