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US-based Nigerian physicians to storm Abia for free medical outreach

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The Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) says it will hold free medical outreach in Abia State to complement the efforts of the state government towards improving the healthcare sector of the state.

During the 10-day medical mission, scheduled for April 4 – 10, 2024, free surgeries would be conducted on patients with different medical cases, while thousands of others would be given free treatment.

According to a statement jointly signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo; and the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee-cum-Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, Professor Azubuike Onyebuchi; a team of over 60 physicians and experts in different branches of medicine from North and South America, would be involved in the exercise.

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The statement said that surgeries would be conducted simultaneously at three designated centres that house the necessary facilities: namely – FMC Umuahia, Abia Diagnostic Centre, Umuahia, and Abia Specialist Hospital, Amachara, Umuahia.

It, however, explained that beneficiaries must have been screened and approved before the arrival of the experts from the Americas.

The statement enjoined residents of the state with various health challenges to present themselves for screening at the designated desk offices in all 17 General Hospitals in the state, as well as designated health centers.

According to the statement, date for the commencement of the screening exercise will soon be made public, adding that the screening will be bankrolled by the State Government.

The statement also said that free transport, to and fro the three surgery centres, would be provided by the State Government for patients from distant locations to ease the burden cost on the beneficiaries.

It said various complicated cases including screening for cancer would be carried out during the mission, adding that the foreign doctors will be working with Nigerian-based medical personnel including House Officers, as part of the effort to build capacity and transfer knowledge to the locals.

The statement urged residents of Abia with various complicated health challenges to take advantage of the rare opportunity to receive quality medicare free of charge.

It, however, stressed that only patients who had been screened and booked for surgery during the free registration exercise that would soon commence in all 17 LGAs that would be attended to by the ANPA team.

The statement further explained that the gesture was in recognition of the commitment of the Dr. Alex Otti-led administration towards improving the health sector.

According to the statement, the deliberate allocation of 15% of Abia’s 2024 budget estimate to health, is a demonstration of both the commitment and passion of the Governor for a transformed health sector.

It further noted that ANPA’s choice of Abia for the medical mission, was an acknowledgement of Governor Otti’s special attention to the health sector, demonstrated by his decision to, within the first six months of his administration, renovate and upgrade the Abia Specialist and Diagnostic Centre, Umuahia; Amachara General Hospital, Amachara; and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba, which facilitated the restoration of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) accreditation of the Abia State University Medical College. The accreditation was lost under the immediate past administration in the State.

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