No fewer than 140 patients have benefited from Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, IMAN, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, free surgery and eye operation in Zaria, Kaduna State.
IMAN’s Secretary-General and Director of Programmes, Dr Muhammad Mustapha-Yakubu, stated this while addressing Journalists on the sidelines of the Medical Outreach at Muslim Hospital, Danmagaji, Zaria, Kaduna State on Monday.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the services are being provided to under-privileged members of the society, comprising males and females, young and old.
NAN also reports that the medical caravan was part of the association’s Annual General Meeting, AGM, and Health Week Programme for 2019.
Mustapha-Yakubu said close to 90 and 35 patients were booked for surgical and cataract operations respectively.
He added that on the estimate, the medical team would attend to 140 patients for both operations as more persons off the original list were also included.
‘‘Alhamdulullah, (praises be to Allah), we were at Wucicciri on Saturday for the official opening of the programme of Health Week and the population that gathered there are more than 5,000.
‘‘From the total number, at least more than half were attended to and those that needed surgical interventions were booked because usually we take like 60 to 70 cases, but about 90 patients were booked.
‘‘And for cataract cases too about 35 people were booked and that is what we are doing today, while for the veterinary they saw a lot of animals and treated them.
‘‘However, on the estimate we booked about 100 for surgical and 100 for cataract operations, of course there are always some extra ones that entered into the list who were not originally booked,’’ he said.
The Secretary-General identified shortage of personnel and inadequate funds to cater for the health needs of individuals that came for the medical assistance as challenges of the association.
‘‘We were not happy considering the number of people that needed our help, even when we closed the programme, I felt bad because many people were trooping from various villages.
‘‘These people actually need help but you can’t say no, it is enough, we want to go.
‘‘Even on the surgery cases, you can see the number of people that are sitting here, they are more than 200.
‘‘Because even those that were not booked they want you to do surgery for them at all cost because they don’t have the money.
‘‘Some are suffering from different diseases for the past two, three years, but where is the money?’’ he asked.
Mustapha-Yakubu appealed to well-to-do individuals, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), corporate organisations and government to come to the aid of the association to enable it effectively reach out to under- privileged Nigerians.
While disclosing that the programme was 95 per cent sponsored by the Ummah, he said the donation the association got from outside was very meager.
Also in an interview, the Chairman of the Free Medical Outreach, ABUTH, Prof. Adamu Ahmad, described the entire exercise as a humanitarian service with a view to getting reward from Almighty Allah.
Ahmad, who is also the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC, ABUTH, said, ‘‘the medical caravan of IMAN, ABUTH started by seeing patients at Wucicciri in Zaria Local Government Area.
‘‘The patients that we are operating on today were recruited and screened, the turnout was very large.
‘‘At least we have operated 60 patients by now and we still have a long way to go.
‘‘Yesterday, we gave drugs to so many people, while we are doing surgical operation here in Muslim Hospital, in Gamabo Sawaba (General Hospital, Zaria) they are doing ophthalmic operation too.
‘‘We are doing the two separate operations simultaneously until hopefully we finish all the patients that were screened and booked for operation,’’ he said.
NAN further reports that the association had extended similar medical services to Almajiris at Hayin Katsinawa, Shika in Giwa Local Government Area of the state.
NAN also reports that apart from free medical services, IMAN donated food, clothes and other basic items to the Almajiris.
The association also lectured them on how to live in clean environment and holding to the truth, as well as engaged them in skills acquisition programmes for self-reliant.