By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
Hundreds of aged people comprising men and women in Umuchima, Ideato South local government area, have been given treatment to save them from deadly malaria, hepatitis ailments militating against their health.
At the free medical outreach organised by Uzotex Charity Foundation of Festus Mbisiogu, at Umuchima, Vanguard discovered that malaria and hepatitis are common ailments among the aged people in the area.
It was said that some of them have lived with it for long without being treated as a result of lack of funds.
One of the patients, who identified herself as Mary, told said:”I am so happy that this free medical treatment is happening. I came back from my farm and I fell sick. I went to the hospital.
“After the test, I was asked to come back after five days, I went back and collected the result. The hospital prescribed drugs for me but I don’t have money to buy the drugs.”
She continued: “A friend told me that this free medical outreach is coming up and I struggled to attend. I have been tested and some drugs have been given to me. This is the hand of God. I am getting this treatment without paying any money.”
However, Mary and other aged patients who were administered treatment said that they have been lifted up from the financial burden of accessing health services. They also were of the feelings that they would use the money for other areas of their needs.
They went further to tell Sunday Vanguard that they would continue to offer prayers for Uzotex Foundation pleading to the organizers not be discouraged in their efforts of saving the lives of poor people.
Speaking also, a Catholic priest of Immaculate Conception, Umuchima in Ideato South, Reverend Father Chibuzor Dike, said the free medical services have been going on for years, adding that he has been coordinating the activities of the foundation for nine years.
He said: “I have been coordinating this for nine years now. We use this foundation to feed the sick, we take care of the indigent people. The foundation is known here in Nigeria and outside the country.
“But unfortunately it is being sponsored by only man Festus Mbisiogu.
“Like some friends donated some drugs and we are soliciting from people who can come and help. People of goodwill can come and help. I know that the traditional ruler of the community has invited many times to give him a chieftaincy title. He said I am satisfied as Mr. Festus Mbisiogu.
“We thank God almighty for given us this young man who has been wiping away the tears of his people.”
Also, Victor Anaejionu, President medical doctor and student Association, led the medical team, according to him, “We came here last year for this medical outreach organized by Uzotex Charity Foundation. It was wonderful the number was up to 250 people. As of last year, we had more of malaria and people with eye problems in fact because of the number we weren’t able to see all of them.
“Like last year we came with two optometrists. This year we came with three.
“You know we are in the tropics and most of the diseases people suffer are malaria, diabetes, hypertension if you look at the pharmacy you will see the drugs that are there provided by the convener of this program.
“The challenges we had was when we were coming because of the bad road we came a bit late.”
Narrating his story on how he started his Uzotex Charity foundation and the inspiration behind the move, Festus Mbisiogu said: “From what I was told malaria is on top of it and hepatitis is also on top of it. These are two major illness that revolves around this area and diabetes as well.
“I was a bit encouraged from the report I got from the doctors last time there as t such thing was held about two years ago. The turn up was encouraging and challenging to me also.
“After narrating this story I say to myself that as far as I live I will continuously embark on this free healthcare to our people. I want you to know that for a community to be prosperous and productive they must be healthy. If not it will affect the growth of the town.
“I have resolved with my team to embark on this free medical services every year with the sole aim of torching lives through this section.
“I want you to know that in this village. Those who reside in the villages are elderly people from 50 years and above. It came to a point based on the report I got that drugs were not enough for the elderly people and we had to increase it.
“This foundation started about 12 years ago.
“I just told my people that what I am doing was designed by God. It is like a script being written by God for a very long time. I have told them that I am an instrument in the hand of God. ”