Home / HEADLINE / Abiodun’s Free Surgery For Poor, Vulnerable Commences In Abeokuta, Others (*photos)

Abiodun’s Free Surgery For Poor, Vulnerable Commences In Abeokuta, Others (*photos)

ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA – The Free Surgical Intervention Programme for indigent people, initiated by the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has been flagged off with surgical operations performed on patients at the State Hospitals in Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, and Ilaro-Yewa in Ogun State.

The programme which began with the registration of beneficiaries involves major and minor surgical operations as part of the governor’s medical palliative to the people.

Speaking after witnessing the first surgery performed on a patient under the free surgery programme at the State Hospital, Ilaro-Yewa, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Rotimi Ogungbe, said the programme which is the brainchild of the governor was meant to bring relief to people with medical challenges that needed a surgical operation.

The services rendered under the programme, Dr. Ogungbe highlighted include, preoperative, operative, and post-operative.

He said: “I have gone round and I have seen the people who have been operated on. What the governor has done is unprecedented in the history of this state. The free surgery programme covers all operations including orthopedics, we are doing gynecological operations, obstetrics, and others.”

The special adviser applauded the state government for making available medical equipment and other surgical resources, noting that medical personnel has been fully mobilized to make the programme a success.

The Coordinator in charge of the programme in Yewa Zone, Dr. Bashirudeen Oni, said surgical operations would be carried out on patients with breast lumps, hernia, fibroid, goiters, soft tissue sarcoma, lipoma, prostate enlargement, adrenalectomy, cataract, amongst others.

He said the hospital hoped to operate on about eight patients from the start and scale it up as the programme progresses.

In his contribution, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Yusuf Abdulwahab, commended the people for turning out in large numbers to benefit from the programme, disclosing that those who were cleared were already undergoing surgical operations.

Mrs. Saidat Dopemu and Miss Ogunsiji Waidat, who were the first and second patients to be operated at the Ilaro State Hospital, appreciated the governor for the gesture, saying it would have been difficult to raise money if they were to pay for the operation.

Also speaking, Mr. Adisa Oladejo, whose son is to undergo a hernia operation, thanked the governor for coming up with a brilliant idea at this difficult time, calling on those with serious medical challenges but lack the wherewithal to take advantage of the programme to sort themselves out.

At the State Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta, the Consultant Ophthalmic surgeon, who is the Permanent Secretary and team lead of the Free Surgery Intervention, Dr. Kayode Oladeinde, said out of the many to undergo operations, six patients were successfully operated in the morning.

The Permanent Secretary who lauded the governor for the succour brought to the people, especially at this difficult time, also appreciated the governor for investing heavily in the health sector in the last five years.

Appreciating the governor for the laudable initiatives, Taiwo Ojeje and Timothy Sowale, who were operated on, said the free surgery has given them a new lease of life, pledging to contribute their quotas to the development of the state as soon as they are feat.

At the State Hospital, Ijebu Ode the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Tayo Lawal noted that everyone registered to undertake a free surgery during the programme would be issued with an Ogun State Health Insurance Agency (OGSHIA) card fully paid for by Governor Abiodun.

“The OGSHIA programme has been on for some time now. What it simply means is that for a card of N1,000 per month or N12,000 per year, you are entitled to about 200 ailments captured under the insurance scheme.

“Once you are above 18, you can pay. But, for a family of six, we capture them under that scheme of N12,000 per year. That is different from what we are doing now. We are just using this as a way of bringing more people into the insurance scheme because everyone registered here will be given a card which will entitle them to visit the hospital for the next one year. It’s been paid for by Governor Dapo Abiodun,” he said.

Speaking during an interview, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Adebanjo Adebukola expressed her happiness with the free surgical intervention programme that has given her the hope of having her operation done without paying a dime.

Also, Mr. Fadipe Solomon and Master Adekoya Emmanuel who both thanked Governor Abiodun for allowing them to have their surgery done without paying any amount, called on other citizens and residents of the state to partake in the free surgical intervention programme.

It would be recalled that the Executive Secretary of Ogun State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Afolabi Dosunmu, had flag-off of registration for the intervention held at the State Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta, on Monday, February 26, 2024.

Dosunmu said that the state has commenced the process of offering free surgical services to indigents in the state saying the intervention was a directive given by Governor Dapo Abiodun to provide succour to the people at this difficult time.

He noted that said hospitals in the state are ready to carry out the directive of the governor.

“The modalities are very simple as long as you are a resident of the state, as long as you have one surgical need or the other, you are free to walk into any of our state or general hospitals and enroll on the insurance scheme.

“The doctors there will assess you if it is a case that is ready for surgery and once all other perimeters have been concluded, we will get the surgery done.”

He said those whose cases are not ready for immediate surgery, would be enrolled for them to have access to the intervention when they are ready.

He added: “It is possible for someone to have, for example, cataract, and the cataract is not yet matured, we will still enroll the person. We will give the person a date for when the cataract is going to mature.

“For example, if you want to remove fibroid when you see the doctor and the doctor said your electrolyte is a bit high or your blood pressure is a little bit high, it needs to be controlled before you can be taken in for surgery”, Dr. Dosunmu explained.

The Executive Secretary noted that surgery operations would start on Tuesday as there were a lot of cases that needed urgent attention.

“We have a matching mandate from the governor for us to enroll 70,000 people and it is broken down to 20,000 pregnant women till they deliver even if the delivery is through cesarean section. The child is delivered, in the first six months; we will take care of its medical needs.

“We have also been asked to enroll 20,000 market women and 30,000 poor people in the state. Among the 70,000, any other person in the state that needs surgery, they have to come down and get their surgery done.”

He lauded the state governor for impacting directly on the lives of the people saying, “Everything is free from the moment they walk in and get enrolled, screened and do tests as well as the surgery and even after surgery.”

Also speaking, Mrs. Olusola Akintola, a retired secondary school principal, commended Governor @dabiodunMFR for the programme, saying it would help the less privileged take care of their medical bills while Mr. Semiu Koleosho, said he enrolled in the programme to enable his son to benefit from the free surgery.

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