At a time when medical costs are escalating, and Nigerians are suffering under the heavy burden of healthcare costs, a community hospital in Lagos has been providing succor through their Free Surgery Program.
The Shonowo Free Surgery program started in December 2016 and caters to patients from all over the state and beyond who cannot afford hospital fees. Consultations, examinations, and treatment are carried out without any charge.
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Dr. Samson Shonowo, a 37-year-old Nigerian doctor, runs the program. Born and raised in Lagos, and starting his medical career at a very young age in a government general hospital, he found that there was so much poverty where patients could not even afford the medical expenses. He found several instances when the family lost their breadwinner to an otherwise treatable condition.
These experiences propelled him to establish the free surgery and medical outreach program in his local community.
“I believe only a doctor can serve humanity by curing them and reducing the suffering,”
“Standard healthcare is not negotiable. It’s a right that everyone deserves to have and I believe that as a private healthcare practitioner, it is my duty to humanity to do my part.” Dr. Shonowo said in a recent interview.
This November/December, The Shonowo Free Surgery Program will carry out free hernia, hydroceles and breast lumps removal surgeries for 100 patients. Registration is already open on the hospital website.
Speaking about the program, Dr. Shonowo said, “100 Candidates will be selected based on early registration, age, and severity. Registration opened on Monday 14th October and will close on Friday, November 15th. Selected patients will be called for consultation and screening and after going through a review process, they will be given their surgery dates”.
Not everybody can afford the cost of Hernia surgery in Nigeria. Some hospitals will request that patients pay for admission, drugs, and other consumables different from the cost of the operation itself. The Shonowo Free Surgery program has so far helped over 600 hernia patients with free repair surgeries.
A hernia is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in Nigeria where because of ignorance, cost of surgery and limited hospital facilities, patients may wait for a long time to have their hernia repaired
A Hernia is a protrusion of an internal organ (especially the intestines) from the cavity in which it is enclosed through an abnormal or weak opening in the wall of the cavity.
Intending patients are encouraged to register via the hospital website.