By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Surgical Aid Foundation (SAF), a non-governmental organization, has promised to underwrite the bill of about 250 poor Nigerians in need of surgery for prostrate cancer and kidney stone diseases.
This was made known by SAF’s programme manager, Abidemi Babatunde, in Abuja on Monday.
Briefing journalists, Babatunde said the decision to accept liability for the hi-tech surgeries was to assist poor patients gain access to treatment irrespective of their circumstances.
He said: “The rich can travel to any country in the world to have minimal access surgery performed on them. Those who are not so rich are left with us. They equally need help.
“SAF will be underwriting some of the bills to make it possible for patients to have these surgeries done in between October and November.”
Babatunde added that the medical programme would be done in partnership with Kelina Hospital, a pioneer health facility for minimal access surgeries in Abuja.
Speaking also, a consultant urological surgeon, Dr. Celsus Undieh, lamented that some patients with prostrate cancer have not been regular with their Prostrate Specific Antigen (PSA) checks due to lack of resources.
Against that background, he said over N3m has been set aside for free PSA tests on individuals, especially the poor. He added that another N900,000 will be spent on free dental checks for over 300 people.
He said that apart from being financially challenged, beneficiaries must first be certified fit for surgery before enjoying the SAF support.
While assuring that no open surgeries would be done in the course of the programme, Dr. Undieh said: “We are doing this as CSR because we believe in giving back to the society.”