NDDC Extends Free Healthcare Services To Rural Communities

The Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, has announced that the Commission which is popularly known for rendering Free Health Care Medical Programme to Niger Deltans, has began free Healthcare activities in Niger Delta region to ensure better healthcare delivery to the people.

Managing Director, who spoke at a week-long free healthcare programme, organised by the commission in conjunction with the Pro-Health International, at the Ukana Cottage Hospital in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, disclosed that the programme would bring healthcare to the door-steps of rural dwellers and communities; adding that the Commission through the free medical mission had provided health solutions to over two million Niger Deltans across almost all communities in the region.

MD, who was represented by the NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Sir Victor Antai, revealed that the commission was determined to make a remarkable and unforgettable difference in the health sector through the engagement of relevant partners such as Pro-Health International, Arit Walden Free Healthcare Mission and others.

Ogbuku maintained that the medical programme had undergone some remodeling, in keeping with best practices and was now being flagged off to better serve the healthcare needs of the region, hinting that this is in line with the position adopted by Mr. President during the commemoration of the 2023 World Universal Health Coverage Day with the theme: Health for all, time for action, where he emphasised the import of placing health and social well-being of Nigerians as a key part of his Renewed Hope Agenda.

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He assured that the commission is committed to working with relevant stakeholders to improve health and all other critical sectors that impact positively on the overall development of the health and social well-being of the people of the region.

According to him: “Health is wealth and good health remains the core of human development. The NDDC, as an interventionist agency, has championed good health as being integral to the success of her mandate in facilitating the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

“This programme, which provides healthcare services to medically underserved rural communities in the region, is one of several health programmes of the Commission, targeted at changing the health situation and narrative of our people in the region. It is in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, No. 3 which aspires to achieve universal health coverage and ensure health and well-being for all.

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“The free medical outreach has been one of the flagship programmes of the Commission, serving to endear the Commission to the medically needy communities, with documented evidence and abounding testimonies of its beneficial impact in enhancing the quality of life of the rural poor in the region.”

In the same vein, NDDC Director, Education, Health and Social Services, Dr. George Uzonwanne, hinted that the main target of the commission was to provide medical services to the people of the Niger Delta region, as part of its mandate; while expressing that since the beginning of the medical outreach on April 15, over 1,200 patients have been attended to and a total of 120 surgeries, including six caesarian procedures that delivered seven babies, among which was a set of twins.

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Also speaking, representative of Akwa Ibom State on the NDDC Board, Apostle Abasiandikan Nkono, applauded the present leadership of the NDDC for its commitment to providing a platform through which the healthcare needs of the people could be accessed.

Speaking earlier, Principal Consultant to the Ukuna Cottage Hospital, Dr Friday Ido, confirmed that the hospital was always ready to collaborate with agencies and organisations that provide needed services to the rural areas.

He commended the commission for bringing the free medical programme to his locality.

By Aligwe Stella, P/H