OGHARA—PATIENTS at various stages of dialysis and kidney transplant in Delta State are finding it difficult to hold back their emotions, as their chief source of hope and sponsor, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, prepares to vacate office next month. The cause of their expression of grief is not far-fetched.
Uduaghan, a medical doctor, has been subsidizing whatever amount it was costing them in their battle for survival from kidney failure by 75 percent. They have actually been undergoing dialysis every two or three days or weekly, depending on the gravity of the deadly ailment because of the governor’s support.
By the extraordinary gesture, most of the kidney/dialysis patients, who could not have afforded the heavy cost of treatment and probably might have died, are still very alive and kicking fine. Because of this, they believe they owe the governor a million thanks and would want him to continue in office.
Whether the incoming government, also to be piloted by a medical doctor, Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, will continue the epoch-making gesture of his predecessor, the patients do not know.
Uduaghan has led operations for kidney transplant at Delta State University Teaching Hospital, DESUTH, Oghara, which has become a reference hospital for dialysis and kidney patients in the state and beyond because of its sophisticated equipment. The hospital is said to have well-trained medical doctors and personnel shepherded by the Medical Director and expert in kidney treatment, Dr. Leslie Akporaye.
Uduaghan has also ensured that experts from Dallas in the United States are occasionally on ground to assist the medical crew of the hospital. In this way, intellectual property is transferred from the developed world to Nigeria for the treatment of the deadly disease.
He really touched lives—Mrs. Uhawha
50-year-old Mrs Martha Uhawha, a mother of five children, who recently donated one of her kidneys to her first son, Joseph Oghenetega Uhawha, told Niger Delta Voice at the premises of the hospital: “The governor has really touched the lives of Deltans, particularly mothers of child-bearing age and kidney/dialysis patients. “He is subsidizing their medical care by 75 percent, making them to easily access the health care facilities in the state. I pray for the governor every morning; he is my role model. I even pray for him first before praying for myself and members of my family. I do that every morning.”
I would have died —Joseph
Joseph, who corroborated his mother’s statement, said: “There are no words to describe Governor Uduaghan. He is a humanitarian by all standards. He has helped many people with his maternal care and kidney disease treatment policies. “So many people would have been dead if not for the good gesture of the governor. I would have probably been dead if not for the governor.
“He has tried for me and my family. If it were possible, we would request that he remains in office for life. When I was receiving treatment, he personally gave me injections.” Joseph, however, implored the governor to continue to support those who have been treated and are now healthy, but still have to be taking their drugs throughout their life time.
His words: “Those of us who have been discharged from the hospital still have to be taking our drugs. These drugs cost so much money, about seven thousand naira everyday and that is approximately N200, 000 every month. “If you fail to take your drug for a short space of time, the disease which you have just been treated of can return. So you cannot avoid your drugs, as you can still die if you do.”
Delta, lucky to have him—Mrs. Duvie
Another kidney patient, Mrs Alero Duvie, aged 55, said she was diagnosed of the deadly ailment sometime in May, 2013. In her case, she initially found it difficult to get a donor. Her husband, whose kidneys were in a state of perfect match and who earlier accepted to donate for her, later refused when his extended family advised him against donating his kidney to his wife.
Mrs Duvie was left to her fate till her last born, a male child, aged 20 years, offered to donate his kidney to her, adding. “After the transplanting, my son is still hale hearty and I am now hale and hearty. Both of us are alive, hale and hearty.” Mrs Duvie, who frequents DESUTH for her medication, said: “Delta State is lucky to have someone like Uduaghan, a surgeon, as its governor. He has put smiles on our faces. He is subsidizing our treatments and even the drugs at 75 percent.”
It all make Gov Uduaghan happy— Ugwunba
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Monitoring, Dr. (Mrs) Rukevwe Ugwunba, who spoke in an interactive session with newsmen, said: “The governor and the doctors will ever be grateful to God, who has used them to sustain the lives of the patients. “Attending to all the patients at the same time is actually tasking. However, since we know we are saving the lives we have to go to extra miles.
”Sometimes, we are called upon during odd hours; we just have to make ourselves available. Ours is to ensure that the health care programme of the governor reaches everyone without discrimination. The governor is happy doing this.”
Intellectual property transfer
She said: “His Excellency, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has gone further into transferring intellectual property from Dallas, in America, to this hospital and you can see that certain medical treatment and surgical operations, which were initially referred to Appollo Hospital in India are now been handled here in Oghara.” Medical Director, Dr. Akporaye, said Dr. Uduaghan, indeed, transformed the facility to a model comparable to what obtains in the developed world. He said: “Oghara Teaching Hospital is a place to reckon with. It has the state-of-the-art facility. Delta State is a lucky state.”