- bankrolls 100 free surgeries, distribute 2000 eye glasses
A Lagos State House of Assembly member Hon. Desmond Elliott had again makes good his resolve to better the lots his constituents healthwise, as he partners the Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (ARD-LUTH) to carried out free surgical operations for 100 patients in Surulere Constituency I in Lagos.
The exercise tagged: “Free Medical and Surgery Outreach for Surulere Constituency I, which witness a huge turnout of anxious constituents in need of health care was part of the activities lines up to commemorate Hon.Elliott’s birthday celebrations held on the 4th of February.
The lawmaker while in a chat with newsmen at the Love Garden Field Surulere, Lagos venue of outreach programme slated for two-day health intervention which started on Friday, said that the gesture was to alleviate the sufferings of his constituents.
Elliot, who noted that his intervention in healthcare had been a consecutive one, added that this one is unique one owing to the varying degrees of ailments that will be addressed, which includes: surgeries for patients with fibroid, hernia, prostate, lump in the breast and others.
According to the lawmaker the team of medical practitioners had attended to close to 100 patients.
“Today and tomorrow will be for screenings for prostate, hepatitis A, B, and C, eye defects, diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure and others. We are giving out over 2000 glasses,” he said.
He described members of the ARD-LUTH as being amazing in the provision of man power for the exercise.
On the average cost of the surgery per patient, Elliott said it ranges between N500,000 and N1 million, adding that a particular case even cost about N1.2 million.
He commended cooperators like the Bet9ja, Nigerian Breweries, Express Solutions and others for supporting the health intervention.
“We need to beef up health insurance scheme to cover a lot of health issues. We need to make it robust to deal with more serious health challenges,” he added.
Dr Adebayo Awoniyi, the former Vice Chairman, ARD-LUTH who led the team of the resident doctors, said, that members of the association felt there was the need to help the poor masses.
Awoniyi who noted that about 100 patients required various kinds of surgeries, said the intervention had carried out about 46 surgeries and still counting.
The medical practitioner who is a specialist in female and reproductive health, said: “So, far, we have done about 46 surgeries ranging from cataract, fibroid, hernia, glaucoma among others.
“Today again, some people are also coming in for prior investigations. Definitely, we will go as far as possible to help them.
“We have seen about 23 patients again today that need surgical attention which by God’s Grace we will go ahead to render these services,”Awoniyi said.
According to him, the team always ensure patients are fit for surgery by doing due diligence in checking blood pressure, prostate, full blood count before scheduling them for procedures.
Considering the various kinds of people that thronged the venue and medical challenges, Awoniyi said that Nigeria needed to do more in ensuring genuine Universal Health Insurance.
He said: “We are still long away from achieving universal health coverage.
“Government across levels should take health as a matter of urgent national importance. In developed countries, people access healthcare without pains. Some deaths we recordes in this country were preventable with robust health insurance.
“Health is something that we feel any serious government should put attention to. These are things that people need,” Awoniyi said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Ifeanyi Nwanfor, who is physically-challenged described the gesture as a blessing to the constituents.
Also, Mrs Olabisi Daniel, another beneficiary who enjoyed free diabetes screening and eye glasses commended the organisers for the gesture.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, who commended the lawmaker for the intervention, urged the residents to always support their representatives.
The speaker presented awards of meritorious service to the ARD-LUTH who supported the course.