From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
A London-based charitable organisation, Women of Virtue International Initiative has offered free health care delivery to over 300 patients with various ailments in Ojoto, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
According to the founder of the initiative, Dr Felicia Okoye, rural dwellers in many parts of Nigeria have been abandoned to their own fate with little or no care for their health and general welfare while politicians of various categories live in affluence with fleet of cars in their garages and other range of luxuries.
“How can one politician have up to 36 cars and houses here and there, but these rural people, especially the women and children wallow in abject poverty to the extent that they cannot even take care of themselves when they are sick, they cannot afford to feed very well and most of them eventually die in pains and sorrows. This is very bad and man’s inhumanity to man. It is this situation that moved me to provide the succour to them to the extent I can,” Dr Okoye who was filled with emotion said at Ifeadigo market square, Ojoto, where her recent free medical outreach took place.
She explained that the non-governmental organization began operation about 14 years ago, helping widows in various dimensions, but later added the free medical programme because of the degeneration of health conditions of the locals with no means of helping themselves or ignorant of that.
She noted that the charity work had necessitated her visiting home regularly from London with the most vulnerable people as her target.
Recent edition of the free medical outreach lasted three days where qualified nurses recruited from home and abroad took their time to check the blood pressure and other medical examinations of the beneficiaries who were given quality drugs accordingly.
“It is important to invest in women and children and they are the most vulnerable people. What we do here is to give a holistic care to the patients which could not be done in most hospitals. Our target is also to make the beneficiaries have ownership of their health, to see that they visit hospitals when they fall sick other than indulging in self-medication which we know has been the practice amongst them. We talk to them to discourage them from self medication even though we know it is the by-product of poverty,” Dr Okoye said.
She said that the programme was meant for all, both children and adults, and might be tailored to begin to take place quarterly.
She said the initiative believed in preventive medicine and had the duty to inculcate it to the rural dwellers by offering them advice on dietary matters.
She told Oriental News that every edition would be packaged based on situation on ground and what might be discovered in previous edition, saying that “though we do not have enough resources to present the programme in a very large scale.”
Dr Okoye explained that the work of charity she was doing was as a result of passion she naturally had to help fellow human beings, not that she had the resources. She appealed to the well-to-do in society, especially political leaders and philanthropists to come to the rescue of the vulnerable segment of the population which included women and children that had always been neglected.
She said it would not also be out of place for the government to support organizations like hers even in logistics to ensure that many benefited from the programme which she said would no doubt increase the life span of the individual recipient of the medical help.
She appealed to pharmaceutical companies to equally donate drugs to save the lives of the rural and even urban dwellers.
One of the nurses on ground to attend to the patients at the programme was the Vice President of Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association, United Kingdom and the Patron, Richest Mind Group in UK made up of specialist nurses, Mrs Victoria Ndunagum, who traveled all the way from London with Dr Okoye for the medical outreach for the love of the rural people.