400 Benefit From Free Medical Programme

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When Mr Olumide Hafeez came to the venue of the free medical programme organised by the lawmaker representing Alimosho State Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, penultimate Tuesday, many people avoided him like a plague because he looked scary.reliefweb.intyohaig.ng</a> He had large lumps of flesh that hung on both sides of his ears which rested on his two shoulders.

The Free Health Mission was under the auspices of Prince of Hope Turns to Reality Foundation, an initiative of the lawmaker. He underwent surgical operation that first day he attended the programme from Badagry.

However, penultimate Friday, after the free surgical operation and removal of the scary lumps, Olumide Hafeez became the cynosure of all eyes as everybody trooped around him and congratulated him on the success of the surgery and his new look.

Hon. Yusuff said: "He was received with a thunderous ovation by the crowd and they followed him as if he was the president of Nigeria".

This was the story of Hafeez who came from Badagry for his huge Keloid to be operated upon. He said he has carried the Keloid for more than 12 years.

Hafeez was just one out of the over 400 people who successfully underwent free surgical operations for various ailments and several other people across Alimosho and beyond who were treated of ailments ranging from hernia, lumpectomy, ganglion, keloid, appendicitis, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS and high blood pressure, among others.

The five-day programme took place simultaneously in the five local council areas in Alimosho, but the surgical operations took place at the Ipaja mini-stadium with referrals from the other four centres for surgical operation.

The programme, which is a yearly event, is used to commemorate the lawmaker’s birthday every September 26. Thirty surgeons including five from the United States of America were in attendance, apart from other supportive medical staff under the leadership of Dr. Oladokun Samson Alaba, a surgeon and Medical Director of Okiki Hospital in Alimosho area of Lagos.

Some of those that went through surgical operations who spoke with our correspondent narrated their experiences.

A beneficiary, Mr. Fidellis Ogochi said he was at the event to treat a head injury he had about eight years ago which was operated at the programme.

He said it could not be treated before now due to lack of fund and the stress in the general hospital. He added that he heard about the programme over the radio.

Another patient, Mr. Sunday Adekunle, who underwent surgical operation for hernia, thanked the lawmaker for the free health care programme.

He revealed that he heard about the programme through a friend, and that he was unable to undergo the surgery in the hospital because he didn’t have the money to pay, even as he thanked God for the opportunity.

Also, Mr. Okeaje Temitope, who underwent hernia operation, revealed that he had been suffering from the ailment since the past two years, stating that he was operated upon at the programme free.

"I pray that the organiser of the programme lives long and God should reward him for the gesture.

"I am from Aiyetoro in Ogun State. I urge Alimosho people to give Bisi Yusuff all he needs from them and during his campaign, we will stand by him. I heard about the event through a relation. I was given drugs and injections after the free surgery," he said.

Another beneficiary who identified herself as Adenike said her twins had abnormal features revealed that she could not afford the sum of N2 million which a hospital billed her in order to operate on the children.

Adenike further stated that her husband and members of his family abandoned her and the children because of their abnormality, adding that she begs in order to feed the children.

She said she was invited to the programme by Hon. Yusuff, who had promised to help her operate the children free.

Others such as Mr. Gbolahan Oyekan, whose son Lekan, had appendicitis, Nike Babalola, who required brain surgery and a host of others thanked Bisi Yusuff for the gesture.

Speaking to reporters on the last day of the programme, Yusuff said the programme was successful.He said: "We thank God for everything. The people came, the turnout was massive and they can testify to what had happened.unhcr.orgyohaig.ng</a> It was a huge success. It is a fact that we have health challenges in Nigeria let alone in Alimosho area.

"What I witnessed here was that people came from Ekiti, Ibadan and other areas for the programme. They were living in agony before now.

"I can say that our health care system at the national level should be overhauled. I thank God that Governor Ambode has introduced health insurance which I think should be accelerated because people are suffering.

"We have left over of about 250 people that we could not attend to because today is the last day of the programme. Our target was 400 and we had exceeded that. The outreaches in other areas of the constituency have performed well also.