Abuja, April 8, 2019
A United States of America, U.S.-based physician, Dr Chukwuocha Uzoma, has advocated use of religious institutions for enhanced health awareness to enable more Nigerians access quality medical services.
Uzoma, a member of Association of the Nigerian Physicians in America (ANPA), California, made the call at the ongoing free medical and surgical services in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He identified lack of health education and awareness as some of the factors militating against the growth of Nigeria’s health sector.
He noted that the common issue encountered by the outreach in the past few days of the programme was basically lack of healthcare awareness.
“People do not know how to seek healthcare before they get sick.
“You see a man coming with a very high blood pressure, but he does not even know that he is hypertensive.
“You also see someone who is diabetic coming with blood sugar over 400 and does not even know that he is diabetic.
“The bottom line is that we should give them education ahead of time.”
He, therefore, commended the efforts of the Federal Government in revitalizing Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the country.
According to Uzoma, the government is doing its best to equip the PHCs, adding that; “that is the best thing to do.
“If we can make primary healthcare services accessible, we would solve a large chunk of the problems.’’
He called for more collaborations and partnerships between the government and medical professionals in the Diaspora for the benefit of the country.
“ANPA and all other professional groups outside the country are ready to work with the government. So far, it has been good.
He urged the government to keep the collaboration going, adding that “there is a lot they can bring to the table to improve the Nigeria’s health care system.’’
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Dakacin Dakwa 1, Malam Yahaya Ajiya, commended the organisers of the outreach, stressing that the programme was good and should be sustained.
Ajiya called on the government to fashion out a programme that would investigate the root causes of non-communicable diseases afflicting many citizens with a view to preventing them.
NAN reports that ANPA is providing free medical and surgical services in AMAC and Bwari area councils of the FCT.
Dr Charmaine Emelife, President ANPA, said the association had mobilised more than 70 health providers from the U.S. for the outreach.
Emelife said that apart from doctors, the team comprised of nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, who were in FCT to collectively provide world class health care services.
According to her, the primary healthcare services will be provided in Tungan Kwasau and Jiwa communities in Abuja Municipal Area Council, while the surgical services will be provided at the General Hospital Kubwa, Bwari Area Council.