FREE MEDICAL OUTREACH FOR 20,000 ABIANS: Greg Ibe bemoans ABSUTH condition
*Says protracted Doctors’ strike increased functional mortuaries in State
The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State, Professor Greg Ibe says his vision is to rescue not fewer than 20,000 patients in Abia in his extant free Medical and Surgical Outreach in Umuahia, the State’s capital.
Professor Ibe who expressed acrimony towards the dilapidated stated of infrastructure, particularly the utter negligence towards the health sector, regretted that an acclaimed God’s own State houses more functional mortuaries than hospital.
The Chancellor of Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, asserted that the presence of multiple functional mortuaries in the state with little or no efficient hospitals was due to lack of attention as prompted by protracted strike by doctors.
Professor Ibe who made the remark Tuesday in Umuahia while flagging off his annual free medical/surgical scheme, accused the State Government of insensitivity over the deterioration in the health sector.
The governorship hopeful who was represented by his running mate and member representing Aba South state constituency, Hon. Obinna Ichita, said that the lack of care for the welfare of doctors and other health workers was the reason the health sector “is in a state of near-comatose”.
” It’s only in Abia that doctors are owed for 25 months and Government is busy telling stories. Our only state teaching hospital, the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, Aba, has been under lock and key for for over one year because doctors are owed for over two years.
” The present administation in the state has lost value for life. The only functional unit at ABSUTH is the mortuary and the Government is not moved. Fridays and Saturdays are now for burial due to high rate of death in Abia.
“The oldest man in most communities today is 50 years old because there is no robust health care system in place. The health sector is dead”.
Professor Ibe who said that “medi-care is the best gift” one could give to humanity, explained that he embarked on the free medical outreach as an interventionist programme to bridge the gap in the health care delivery system.
He said that the programme had nothing do do with his political ambition as he had been in the humanitarian gesture for many years.
” Professor Ibe is not doing this to get elected into office; he wants to elongate the lives of the people”.
He said that the scheme would continue for three days in each senatotrial district before getting down to every Local Government Area, adding that senior citizens from 75 years with serious medical conditions would be placed under a routine treatment and catered for by his Foundation.
Ibe further explained that beneficiaries of the scheme with surgery cases would be referred to the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia for further treatment at no cost to the patients.
In an interview, the Head of the medical team, Dr Ojum Ogwo, said over 50 medical doctors and medical personnel from different areas of specialty were on ground to attend to people who show up for the scheme.
He said that their target was 1500 cases a day but noted that close to 1000 cases had been recorded in less than five hours the programme commenced.
According to him malaria, typhoid and high blood pressure were prevalent among the cases recorded.
Earlier in a remark, APGA Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, who criticised the incumbent Governor for “toying with the welfare of health workers”, while urging them people to keep their hope alive,
described Greg’s intervention as apt with reference to “the deplorable condition of the health sector in the state”.
He said: “At no time in the history of our dear state is the free medical/surgical outreach pioneered by our visionary governorship candidate be more apt than now that the Abia health sector is a shambles.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that public hospitals and Health Centres across Abia State are in a state of near comatose following the on-going Tuesday strike by doctors due to 25 months, and 11 months of unpaid salaries of doctors at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba ABSUTH; and the Health Management Board, HMB, respectively.
“It is shameful to note that ABSUTH which has already lost accreditation to admit medical students is at the verge of losing clinical accreditation due to insensitivity of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led administation supervising the collapse of Abia.
“The implication of this sad development is that in the absence of any urgent intervention, ABSUTH will no longer be able to graduate medical students. What an avoidable harm to the future of the state once reputed for medical excellence!”
“It is very sad to note that under the very watch of PDP-led Government, the only functional section in ABSUTH now is the mortuary due to lack of attention occasioned by protracted strike by doctors and other staff who have not received their salaries for over two years. Health Centres and General Hospitals across the 17 LGAs lack the basic drugs and equipment. There is a total neglect of the vital health sector just like other sectors have equally been abandoned by this Government.
“The resultant effect of all these is avoidable deaths of hapless Abians who cannot afford medi-care elsewhere. But for the presence of private health facilities which most often offer their services at throat-cutting prices, patients would have been dying like fowls in Abia as Government has played aloof.
“This is the more reason this philanthropic gesture of our governorship candidate to provide free medical/surgical services to Abians should be appreciated. It also goes to show that the medical sector and indeed other sectors will become a referral point under his watch as Governor.
“It’s also instructive to note that this medical scheme is free and can be accessed by ALL Abians and residents irrespective of their political affiliations. Why die in silence when we have Greg?
“I, therefore, urge Abians especially our indigent folks with medical challenges, to quickly take advantage of this scheme and receive quality and free medi-care. I have no doubt in me that in 2023 when APGA shall take over the reins of power in God’s Own State, the everage life span of Abians will increase.
“With APGA in charge all sectors of Abia economy now in coma will not only be revived but witness speedy transformation: Doctors will not be owed; teachers will get paid at the end of the month; workers and pensioners will not need to embark on street protest before they receive their entitlements.
“I also urge all Abians to join in the efforts to rid the state of bad governance and recycled political politicians by voting for APGA candidates in the 2023 elections.
He urged people with health challenges to take advantage of the scheme and receive quality health care, adding that the scheme is for all.
Some of the beneficiaries including Gloria Eke, John Chikwe and Jeremiah Kalu showered praises on the benefactor for the gesture.