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RT. Hon. Toby Okechukwu Visits Own Free Medical Outreach Amidst Massive Outpouring Of Prayers And Goodwill From The People

Prayers rained freely from the people at Ugbo, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State as a foremost philanthropist and Deputy Minority Leader of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu, visited UNTH Outpost, Ugbo, venue of the free medical outreach he is sponsoring to meet the health needs of the people of his constituency and beyond.

Dr. Joseph Chigbu, the team leader for Doctors On The Move Africa (DOTMA) in a remark after conducting Rt. Hon. Toby round the different units – theatres, pharmacy unit, test labs, diagnosis center and so on, said:
“Today we are at Ugbo in Awgu Local Government of Enugu State being sponsored by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, in the person of Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu. We are doing a comprehensive short term medical mission having done the needs assessment of this community. There is the burden of illnesses, surgical needs and so it was only proper for him to nominate such a project for his community and indeed Awgu, Oji River, Aninri Federal Constituency. This is our fourth day working in this community.

Dr. Chigbu stated that over 2000 out patients had already been treated which include over 87 general surgeries. Over 33 cataract surgeries were done already but still counting.
He stressed positive impact of the medical outreach and commended Rt. Hon. Toby for sponsoring it over the years.
For the beneficiaries of the outreach, Dr. Chigbu said:
And so, you can see the joy in their faces. Those who could not see can now see because their old lenses are removed and new ones are fixed for them. Little children come in with congenital hernias, their hernias are fixed. Now they can go back to school, they can learn and of course the farmers and traders who have such problems will be tackled and they will become economically viable to the community. So, as an organization, Doctors On The Move, we are thankful to Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu that has provided this platform over the years.”

In his address, Rt. Hon. Toby expressed satisfaction with the level of success recorded. He however express believe that prevention of diseases ought to be given greater attention. He also expressed pleasure that the series of outreach done in the past has yielded positive results.

He started as follows:
“What we need to achieve if you really check the statistics of the number of surgeries last time, last year, it was over 300, but presently, what they are having is about 87, then 33 hard surgeries by this time last year. By this period, they have done 100, so my assumption is that it is reducing, which means it is having effect. So, the idea is to see how we can provide some intervention regarding the challenges of rural medicine and medication.”
He said that the idea is to intervene and mitigate the challenged the people have in accessing much needed healthcare services which include lack of funds, accessibility, bureaucracy, the lack of specialists in some areas and so on.
“As a matter of fact, you know, this area is challenged. Even when you have the UNTH, it is not everybody who can go there. They have monetary issues, they have problem of access, we also have issues of specialization. And then, the number of people that flock in there and the bureaucracy and the logistics is quite challenging, so, we are happy that UNTH has this outpost here that can attend to, at least, some of the problems.
And that is why Doctors On The Move have come through our instrumentation to intervene. So, the idea is to provide some succor to our people – to intervene where we can and then in the long term we want to also build facilities that in a sustainable manner, deal with these issues. You didn’t know about this place before, you hadn’t the privilege of providing this kind of intervention. But now, it is a UNTH outpost, it is going to be sustainable. Presently, they have two doctors that are posted here permanently. They have nurses, they also have pharmacists and they have employed administrators from this area who would provide some administrative responsibility. So, in the long term is to build the facility, in the short term, is to provide intervention so that those who can, who may not be able to wait for permanent structure will have intervention and live long.”
On what motivates him in putting together free medical outreach for the people, Rt. Hon. Toby said that it is a burden when somebody is actually sick because the person has no economic viability or contribution to make.

“The point to make is that we need to intervene constructively in which ever way we can to ameliorate the challenge of our people,” he asserted.
He stressed that the Universal Health Insurance is by act of parliament and that since there are certain things that can’t be done by compulsion, awareness is required to make people to understand that when they pull their resources together, they are better off.
On the challenges of the medical outreach, Rt. Hon. Toby pointed at the ability to move the people to the point of contact with the medical practitioners and the lack of adequate time to deal with all the cases of everybody. “But we will continue to do our best to make sure that some of these challenges are mitigated,” he said.
In a separate forum, Rt. Hon. Toby thanked his people especially the community youth leaders who are helping to mobilize the people to benefit from the free medical outreach. He urged them to be steadfast and make service for the good of all their watch ward.
Rt. Hon. Toby also used the occasion to visit a number of other projects he attracted to his constituency. One of them is a marine institute featuring a picturesque dam and a massive multifaceted resort for recreation and family relaxation. There he talked and gave specific directives to the contract engineer handling the fish pond platform therein.
It is expected that when completed, the facility will provide jobs for hundreds of youths and also boost the economy of the host communities and the constituency at large.

more pictures below;


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