By Henry Ojelu
When Paul Orajiaka Foundation undertook a survey last year to understand the most pressing needs of Anambra residents, inadequate healthcare was among the top four challenges identified by the survey team. The survey has not only helped the foundation to formulate an action plan to meet the needs of Anambra people, it also revealed the urgency for a quick intervention. In a shift from other survey efforts which merely identify challenges and proffer solutions, the foundation rather than wait for government’s intervention, decided last week to bring help to the people through a medical outreach.
The medical outreach which was organized in partnership with Fola David Foundation engaged top medical professionals across the country to provide free medical services to Anambra residents in the three senatorial districts of the state- Anambra South, Anambra North and Anambra Central.
Over 3000 residents with various ailments were attended to by the team of medical professionals with drugs worth millions of naira dispensed. Vital drugs and equipment were also donated to local hospitals in the three senatorial districts to boost their capability to meet the health needs of the people.
In Azia, Ihiala Local Government Area (Anambra South) where the outreach kicked-off on January 7, thousands of residents from different communities stormed the venue of the programme. It was a busy day for the medical team as fathers, mothers and their children waited patiently to be attended to. From minor health issues to serious conditions which required referrals, the medical team worked tirelessly to attend to everyone.
The situation was the same at Eke-Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area, venue of the outreach for Anambra Central Senatorial District. The crowd of residents that besieged the venue was enormous. From morning till evening, the medical team barely had a minute of rest. The scene reflected the level of neglect by the few government health facilities in the state to attend to the most basic health needs of residents.
At the two venues of the outreach in Okpoko, Ogbaru Local Government Area and Pontu, Ayamelum Local Government Area in Anambra North Senatorial District, the crowd of residents waiting for medical attention was a scene to behold. Both the young and old turned up for the outreach and were attended to by doctors. To further reach distant communities in the senatorial district, the medical team also visited several villages and farm settlements.
To sustain the gains made by the medical team, Paul Orajiaka Foundation donated drugs and equipment worth millions of naira to Saint Luke Hospital in Okpoko, Ogbaru Local Government Area. The Foundation also made a promise to make the intervention a regular effort.
Testimonies and praises came in torrents for the Paul Orajiaka Foundation during and after the three-day medical outreach. Elated residents sang the foundation praises and appealed that the outreached be made more regularly.
A widow and mother of three, Mrs Faith Okonkwo noted that for years, she had struggled to raise enough money for her health condition to no avail. According to her, even government hospitals refused to attend to her because she could not afford the cost of treatment. She said: “I am very happy for what the Paul Orajiaka Foundation has done for me. I have been having this medical condition for years until this medical team treated me free of charge. I pray that God will reward Paul Orajiaka and his team of medical professionals.”
Another resident Emmanuel Obinna who was treated for infection and given drugs commended Paul Orajiaka Foundation for the foresight in tackling health needs of the people. He said: “Thousands of people who came here today are leaving with smiles on their faces because the Paul Orajiaka Foundation has done for them what the government has failed to do. We are happy for what the foundation has done and we pray that God will bless the founder, Paul Orajiaka.”
The President-General Azia General Assembly, Dr. Tonna Nwabueze was also full of praises for the Paul Orajiaka Foundation and urged other affluent individuals in the state to emulate Paul Orajiaka’s magnanimity. He said: This is a praiseworthy act and must be commended by all. Other affluent sons and daughters of the state should emulate what Paul Orajiaka has done with this medical outreach.”
Bishop of Ogbaru Archdiocese, Anglican Communion, Rt Rev ProsperAmah also commended Paul Orajiaka for the medical outreach saying that the health of the people should be paramount to everyone including the government. He also appreciated the foundation for the drugs and facilities donated to Saint Luke Hospital. He said: “What Paul Orajiaka has done with his foundation here is what the government and other well placed indigenes of Anambra State should be doing. I am particularly happy with the drugs he has donated to Saint Luke Hospital. Our prayer is that God should bless him and make his political ambition come through.”
Speaking on the reason for the medical intervention, founder of the foundation, Paul Orajiaka noted that the foundation is aimed at giving the people a new lease of life, health wise adding that most of the challenges facing people include getting health care services at the primary level.
Chief Orajiaka said it is important that people at the grassroot get free medical consultation and medication for all their ailments as they need to be healthy and live a good life intimating that the same free medical treatment will be replicated yearly.
On his part, the leader of the medical team, Dr. Fola David said that the free medical outreach is for everybody irrespective of their age adding that the team is focused on checking vital signs. He also advised the beneficiaries to adhere strictly to doctor’s prescription for better results.