To facilitate unhindered access to medical care, the wife of the Delta state governor and founder of O5 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, says she hopes to ensure no less than 5,000 eye surgeries are carried out in the state within the next three weeks.
Dame Okowa said this while flagging off the 2021 O5 Initiative free grassroots medical outreach at Eku Central Hospital, Eku in Ethiope East local government area of the state.
This is the second time in three years the wife of the governor through her initiative in collaboration with Restore Eyesight Africa Initiative is conducting a statewide free eye care outreach to vulnerable groups.
“In 2018, God helped us to carry out over 2,000 eye surgeries, it is our prayer that this year, not less than 5,000 successful surgeries will be carried out.
“Unlike in 2018, this year, we are not able to go to all the 25 LGAs but decided to do it at a senatorial district level so that everyone can converge at a venue.
“In the next four days, our medical team will be around to carry out free medical consultations, dispense correctional glasses and drugs as well as carry out surgeries where necessary.
“In addition to the eye care, there would be free blood and sugar tests as well as free COVID-19 tests to ensure that everyone is safe.
“When we are through with Eku, we will move to Oleh under Delta South next week after which we will be in Asaba under Delta North to carry out the same exercise.
“I must say, however, that I am not happy with the level of turnout. It means that our politicians and opinion leaders did not do their work well.
“We expected more people to be around since eight LGAs are converging. I therefore urge everyone to go back home and tell their people, as many as have eye issues to come so that they access free medical care and so that our officials do not return with the equipment meant for the people”
The wife of the governor emphasized that the outreach was not limited to Deltans alone but crosses tribal boundaries to meet anyone who needs the services being offered.
She expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Coordinator of the Restore Sight Africa Initiative, Dr. Ernest Ogbedo for his humanitarian disposition.
She also extended her appreciation to the state ministry of health for their collaboration.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Ethiope East local government area, Pharm. Victor Ofobrukueta, said “Deltans are indeed proud of the activities of the O5 Initiative that has transformed lives.
“We are privileged to host the outreach this year and pray that Her Excellency is continually strengthened for what lies ahead”.
Dr Ogbedo on his part, re-echoed the stance of the wife of the governor, encouraging opinion leaders and politicians to help bring people who need eye medications but are unable to come unaided.
Several of the patients who spoke testified of how their sights had greatly improved after receiving correctional glasses.
In the words of Nicholas Abvado, “Reading used to be very difficult for me as I couldn’t see the letters clearly but with the glasses, I can read perfectly well now”.