3 min read
Judex Okoro, Calabar
Hundreds of natives of Calabar community in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State have benefited from free medical treatment, which ranged from malaria tests, typhoid tests, free eye examination, blood pressure tests, HIV/AIDS screening and other medical assistance, as part of an outreach programme organised by the African Church to mark the 2019 Youth Day celebration in the state.
The event, which witnessed a large turnout of residents of the community and its environs, was held at the African Field along White House. It was aimed at uniting the community and bringing health care to the doorsteps of the less privileged.
Hundreds of people, who thronged the venue of the outreach, also received various forms of medical assistance, including free eye glasses, malaria drugs and vitamins supplements, while a good number of them who had complex medical issues were referred to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and the Lawrence Henshaw Infectious Diseases Hospital in the state.
During the exercise, the chaplain of the African Church, Venerable Richard Asuquo, said the essence of the programme was for the church to reach out to the underprivileged and add value to the lives of the people.
According to Asuquo, “We try to embark on programmes like this because, at times, in the community, we have the poorest of the poor that do not have money to access conventional medical facilities in the state.
“So, when we do this, they will be at an advantage. The essence of this is to help people meet some of their basic amenities and in the process lift up the spirit of the downtrodden in our community.
“We are prepared to accommodate as many natives and residents as possible because we see this as part of our obligation to the society. If we exist in a community and they do not feel our impact, then there is a missing link,” Asuquo said.
Similarly, the president of the African Church Youth Association, Effiom Offiong Obo, said the outreach was part of their contributions to the larger society, adding, “We started in Calabar Municipality, now we are in Calabar South, and we intend to go next to Akpabuyo in our endeavour to come to the aid of some less privileged and health-challenged members of the society.”
Obo disclosed that those whose cases were complex and/or had medical challenges like HIV/AIDS and referred to specialist hospitals for treatment would be assisted by the church to offset the medical expenses.
One of the beneficiaries, Jane Pellegrino, expressed appreciation for the medicare offered them as it has enabled some of them, who did not have time and resources to go to medical centres, to get treatment at no personal cost.
“It is commendable and we pray it should be sustainable as some of us are used to self-medication, which is harmful to the body. But with this rare opportunity, we can attend to our health needs. As you can see, people came out in their numbers to get treatment and it is better than dying with their diseases and sicknesses,” she said.
Another resident, Paul Antigha, said: “It is quite encouraging to have this because it will go a long way in not just improving the lives of the less privileged but also reducing the high mortality rate in the community.
“I am very impressed, as one of the major problems of man is health and, with this, it is going to help us surmount so many pressures and mitigate the rate at which people die from preventable causes in the community. Besides, beneficiaries’ health challenges, particularly high blood pressure and hypertension, which is one of the major health challenges in our community right now, would be improved upon.”
Eyo Eyo Uma, a 70-year-old retiree, said: “The outreach has come at the right time and is a huge relief to members of the community. The exercise is very good for me and my family, as it would improve family healthy.”
Source; The Sun Nigeria