At least 70 per cent of the ongoing free eye surgeries and 50 per cent of the overall medical interventions in Ilorin General Hospital have been carried out, with beneficiaries commending the Kwara State Government and other sponsors of the exercise for the gesture.
The beneficiaries singled out Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for commendation for the corrective surgeries and other interventions which they said were made possible with multimillion naira equipment the government newly supplied to the hospital, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU), said a statement by the governor’s spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye.
The interventions, which began on Monday, are sponsored by the state government in partnership with the Kwara State Association of Nigeria, North America (KSANG) and Sakinah Medical Outreach.
As at Wednesday, nearly 70 of the 100 cataract surgeries have been done while 250 glasses have been given to patients suffering from various eye disorders, according to the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital Prof. Abdulfatai Olokoba.
He said additional 300 surgeries were being carried out across specialities of obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgery, orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgical interventions within the week.
Olokoba added that the surgical interventions have led to impressive capacity building within the General Hospital with the supply of more equipment, the opening of new wards and the ICU, which he said would be useful to the state.
Dr Salman Yusuf, chairman of the Sakinah Medical Outreach and head of the Volunteer Doctors, said they partook in the programme to support AbdulRazaq’s efforts to improve basic healthcare delivery in the state.
“We are volunteer medical practitioners — Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, laboratory scientists and other supporting staff — decided to support the government to change the fortune of the state in basic healthcare,” he said.
Oloyede Lamidi, a hernia patent who benefited from the intervention, said the surgery carried out elsewhere last year was not successful and he could not bear the cost of carrying out another operation for lack of funds.
He commended AbdulRazaq for the interventions which he said were beneficial to indigent patients.
Miss Aderemi Olabisi, who had her breast lump removed, admitted that lack of funds had led to the delay in carrying out her surgery.
Muhammad Isa, who had successful hernia surgery, said he had over the last one year been managing the case without success until the intervention.
Isa noted that he heard the information about the medical and surgical missions on radio and seized the opportunity.
“I made several efforts to carry out this surgery with no success because I don’t have money. I am very happy with this. They didn’t collect any money from me. I want to thank the sponsors of this exercise whether those in Nigeria or the USA,” he said.
Miss Basirat Amzat, who had a breast lump, narrated her ordeal before the intervention and said the exercise was seamless in the theatre.
“I really appreciate the Governor of Kwara State for this. Everything from check-up to surgery is free. They did not collect anything from me,” she added.
Abubakar Jimoh, a guardian of a nine-year-old Muhammad Jimoh, who had a hernia, said the family had taken the child to another hospital without success until the intervention this week.
Mrs Zainab Abdulwahab, a mother of 45-day-old boy Abdulwahab, who had surgery for Hydrocephalus, commended the government and its partners for coming to the aid of the baby.
She said she had spinal difida and the surgery carried out earlier led to Hydrocephalus and the family was unable to fund the surgery until the government’s intervention, which Mrs Abdulwahab enthused had lifted a huge burden from the family.