Sunday, June 16, 2019 9:20 am
More than 2,000 residents of Nko community in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River has benefitted from the Federal Government medical outreach and eye surgeries in the state.
The outreach which was conducted by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Vision Savers Abuja, will run from June 14 to June 16.
Speaking to journalists during the outreach on Saturday at Nko, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Aminu Bisalla, said the ministry used to carry out medical sensitisation in the past but had to include free treatment from 2018 due to requests from communities.
Bisalla, who was represented by Mrs Lauren Braide, Director, Community Development and Education, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, said they got requests from different communities, Nko inclusive and decided to carry out the outreach.
According to him, the ministry is expected to attend to 500 persons but had attended to over 2,000 with more still coming, adding that they may not be able to see everyone but the serious cases will be attended to.
“To tell you the truth, the number of persons we are seeing here is quite beyond our expectation, we had looked at attending to about 500 persons but right now, we have over 2,000 and more are still coming.
“Look at the situation here, it pains me that we may not be able to see everybody but the critical cases we will attend to and if need be do referrals.
“We wish to continue these outreaches bearing the constraints of funds in mind, so we call on other stakeholders to collaborate with us so that we can reach out to more people”, he said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vision Savers, Dr Kamal Umar, said they were happy to collaborate with the ministry because they were actually saving lives and putting smiles on the faces of the benefitting communities.
Umar said they were in Nko community in 2018 and treated about 4,000 persons and had attended to over 2,000 persons already in 2019 on the second day of the outreach.
He thanked the people of Nko community for their cooperation, assuring that the outreach which had already produced many successes, will end well.
One of the beneficiaries who spoke to journalists, Mr Ibor Ibor, said he had had issues with his sight for over two years but could see clearly now after he underwent an eye surgery in the outreach.
Ibor thanked the federal government for its kind gesture in his community while calling for its sustainability.
Similarly, Mrs Comfort Obeche, another beneficiary of the eye surgery who spoke in pidgin, lauded the federal government for rextoring her sight.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that apart from distribution of glasses and eye surgery, other services that were carried out during the outreach included treatment of malaria, typhoid, diabetes and provision of anti-retroviral drugs for HIV patients, among others