Governor Hope Uzodimma on Monday at the Imo State Specialist Hospital, Umugumma in Owerri West Local Government Area, flagged off a five-day Free Medical Outreach involving visiting members of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in America in partnership with the Imo State Government.
He did amid excitement expressed by the patients who had come for the exercise as well as personnel of the Specialist Hospital rendering support services to the team of doctors involved in the programme.
Addressing the medical team and the large crowd of patients at the hospital’s pavilion, the Governor said that “the mission is purely a humanitarian service by Nigerian brothers and sisters living in America targeted at assisting Imo indigents who cannot afford some medical bills for certain ailments to be taken care of.”
Governor Uzodimma expressed happiness that the programme which he said is properly conceived by the organisers is also well received by Imo people as was shown by the turnout.
He therefore encouraged the organisers and the patients not to be swayed by anxiety while the exercise progresses throughout the week, noting that every patient will be attended to. “Those not treated today will be seen tomorrow or in the days ahead this week.”
The Governor reiterated his appreciation to the organisers/coordinators of the programme working with the Commissioner for Health and prayed God to give everyone involved in the programne the required wisdom to give the people the best of treatment.
Governor Uzodimma pleaded with the visiting doctors to consider coming again next year in a larger number “so that our people will enjoy the benefits because it is part of the designed programmes meant to support medical care in the State.”
The Governor added: “As the government tries to strengthen the local medical team alongside the visiting team, we hope that quality medicare would have been made available to Imo people by government.”
On the gains of his visit to the Specialist Hospital, Governor Uzodimma said it availed him “the opportunity to see the status of the hospital and identify the areas of the hospital that requires quick interventions,” and promised that “government will soon intervene and ensure that the hospital is really a Specialist Hospital.”
The Commissioner for Health, Prosper-Ohaghaya Success had earlier told the media that the Medical Mission will last for five days and that the team is expected to handle between 2000-3000 cases within the period.
Also, while the Commissioner for Health Insurance, Barthy Okorochukwu informed that the OBGYM unit will handle about 112 cases of those already profiled for surgery, the Executive Secretary, Imo Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Rev Sis. (Dr.) Mary-Johannes Uzoma said that “most of the patients are coming from the rural areas and communities,” and expressed gratitude to the Governor for the collaboration.
On her part, the Head of the American team, Chinyere Anyaogu expressed gratitude to the government and people of Imo State for their hospitality and reception and, promised that they will come again next year.
The crowd of patients who lined up for the treatment could not hide their joy when they sighted Governor Uzodimma in their midst, singing songs of gratitude to God for giving them a caring Governor whose magnanimity they said is second to none.
Governor Uzodimma was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy, Placid Njoku, Chief of Staff, Nnamdi Anyaehie, some members of the expanded executive council among others.