By Gabriel Enogholase
Benin – FOR Chimaobi Martins Kanu, a youth corps medical doctor posted to serve his father land at Ubiaja the administrative headquarters of Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State, his passion to reach the unreached medically and add value to humanity was fulfilled recently when he provided drugs for the de-wormingÂ of over 3000 children in Ubiaja and its environs. Children from seven of the 12 primary schools from the locality took part in the exercise.
Speaking with Vanguard MetroÂ shortly after the exercise, Dr. KanuÂ who studied Medicine at Abia State University andÂ hails from Ovim, Isikwator Local Government Area of Abia State, revealed that his prayers before he was posted to the town of Ubiaja was not to serve his father land in big cities like Benin but in rural communities where he can touch people in the grassroots.
â€œFrom the onset, I never wanted to serve in big cities. My dream was to serve in the rural areas. My passion has been to reach the unreached medically and with the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, my advice to fellow corps members posted to rural communities is that they should never reject such postings because it is a privilege from God to do so,â€ he said.
He disclosed that his visit to the Nigeria Prisons Service in Ubiaja to provide free eye treatments to over 140 inmates was an eye opener to him on what most Nigerian inmates behind the prisons wall were going through. â€œI discovered that most of them were malnourished and were afflicted with all kinds of diseases. Those with eye problems complained that their confinement behind the prison bar for over six months has contributed to their bad eye sight. I also discovered that the inmates were medically unreached.
â€œFrom this experience, I decided that part of my project work is to reach out to children from five to 12 years in the locality and de-worm them. Even, during the de-worming exercise, children who were 12 years and above were there and were de-wormed once in their lives. Our health care delivery system in this part of the world seems to be concentrated on preventive cure only. Most of the diseases afflicting children would have been prevented if these children were de-wormed at least two or three times annually,â€ he said.
Asked how he was able to finance the purchase of the drugs, Dr. Kanu was full of appreciation to Juhel Pharmaceutical Company based in Enugu State for donating 1000 doses of the drugs while he purchased the remaining drugs with donations from friends and relatives just as he put the total cost of the de-worming exercise at about N200, 000. He, however, advised his fellow corps members planning to embark on projects that would be of benefit to humanity not to depend totally on local and state governments. They should source for funds elsewhere as posterity will speak for them, he said.
On how the objectives of the Federal Government primary healthcare system can be realised, he called on the government and donor agencies to use grassroots mobilisers to channel the drugs to rural communities, saying that the present system of dispensing the drugs precludes the rural communities from benefitting from the programme.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary to the Esan South Local Government Council, Mr. Destiny Aimiebenomon who represented the chairman, Prince Andrew Ojiemenkele, expressed delight at the initiative of Dr. Kanu in the de-worming of the children, saying that the council provided him with local support to enable the children who will make use of the infrastructures provided by the government at the primary schools to be healthy and of sound mind.