By Gimba Kakanda
Babangida Danladi Shuaibu, 28, had no inkling of what awaited him when he received his call-up letter for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps on November 26, 2016. “I was excited to serve my nation,” he recalled his mood on the day he departed his hometown, Kano, for his Orientation Camp in Gombe, almost 400 kilometres away.
After weeks of gruelling physical exercises, which are normal pre-commencement of the one-year service procedures, the Political Science graduate of Bayero University Kano returned home for Christmas break, only to meet a cruel fate. “Very sadly, at that period I lost my hearing, which began with dizziness and headache,” he said.
What followed was a series of medical consultations and tests. He was first admitted at Mai Akoko Hospital in Na’ibawa, Kano, where he was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss, and given a prescription of drugs and hearing aids.
With no significant improvement registered, the patient was transferred to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, also in Kano. This was immediately followed with a referral to the National Hospital, Abuja, where he underwent Computerised Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans to determine the extent of his condition.
The outcome was a remedy the family had found unaffordable. The only way to regain hearing, according to medical test results also made available to DAILY NIGERIAN, is undergoing surgery to receive a cochlear implant. It’s a small electronic device which is surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear.
“With recommendations of some doctors, I searched for hospitals in India which carry out such surgeries at lower cost, and with high rate of success,” said the virtually deaf man.
While scouting for the most affordable hospitals, the family received a favourable cost from Columbia Asia Hospital, an Indian hospital located in the city of Gurgaon, Haryana.
The proforma invoice sent to Shuaibu’s family by the hospital, and available to DAILY NIGERIAN, shows a total of $14,900 as cost of unilateral cochlear surgery, and $29,800 for both ears, including a month-long speech therapy. This does not include the cost of flight tickets to the South Asian country, which is one of the most frequented healthcare destinations for Nigerians.
The corps member, with call-up number NYSC/BUK/2016/309489 and state code GM/16B/1579, has appealed to the public to come to his aid, in footing these bills to enable him actualise his dream as he sets out to join the labour market.
Citing how he eventually resolved to go public, he decried setbacks and delays in securing help from organisations contacted.
As hobbies, Mr. Suaibu, who enjoys commenting on political affairs, loves traveling and playing basketball. “In the future, I aspire to join the Road Safety corps,” he said.
Intending fundraisers can send him text message via +234 803 558 9014 or donate to his bank account: 0124011653, GT Bank, Babangida Shu’aibu Danladi.