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Abia Govt Partners with ANPA to Launch Free Medical Outreach Targeting 5,000 Individuals

Abia Govt Partners with ANPA to Launch Free Medical Outreach Targeting 5,000 Individuals

By Matthew Eloyi

The Abia State Government has unveiled plans to initiate a comprehensive medical outreach programme, aiming to provide crucial healthcare services to thousands of residents in the state.

Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, the Commissioner for Health, announced the initiative during a press briefing at the Government House in Umuahia on Monday.

The programme, scheduled to run from April 4 to 14, will be conducted in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA). It aims to offer medical treatment, including no fewer than 200 surgeries, to indigent and vulnerable individuals in Abia.

Dr. Okoronkwo highlighted the significance of this partnership, noting that 81 physicians, including top surgeons from the United States, will participate in the programme. She emphasized the rarity and costliness of some surgeries, such as colonoscopies, which will now be accessible to residents in Abia.

“To have access to certain medical procedures like colonoscopies previously required traveling to Abuja,” Dr. Okoronkwo explained. “Now that they will be available here, it is something that everyone should take advantage of.”

To prepare patients for the programme, free testing will commence on Saturday at designated centers including the Federal Medical Centre in Umuahia and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital in Aba. Dr. Okoronkwo encouraged individuals above 40 years to undergo testing, particularly for conditions like prostate-specific antigen testing.

In support of the initiative, Mr. Okey Kanu, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, assured that active preparations were underway to ensure the success of the medical outreach. He encouraged residents with serious healthcare needs to register early at the identified centres to facilitate medical treatment during the programme.

“The whole objective is to ensure that the average person in Abia is provided free and easy access to quality healthcare services and facilities,” Mr. Kanu affirmed.

In a related development, Dr. Betty Obasi, the Senior Special Assistant to the Abia Governor on Special Duties, announced plans for a week-long event commemorating the 2024 World Glaucoma Day from March 10 to 16. The event aims to raise awareness about the dangers of glaucoma and the importance of early detection.

Dr. Obasi highlighted the prevalence of misconceptions surrounding glaucoma and emphasized the need for widespread education on the disease. The government has secured seven eye screening centers across the state and plans to expand coverage before the celebration week.

“We will engage with local government areas, traditional rulers, and community leaders to ensure maximum participation,” Dr. Obasi stated, emphasizing the importance of early detection in combating the disease.

The government’s commitment to improving healthcare access and raising awareness about critical health issues underscores its dedication to the well-being of Abia residents.

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