ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Paul Basil Iloegbouba Foundation (PBIF), in collaboration with the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, conducted a significant health outreach, offering free medical services to over 10,000 indigent residents in the State.
Titled “Enugu Mega Medical Outreach,” the event took place at Okpara Square in Enugu, aiming to enhance the overall well-being of the local community.
Founder of the PBIF, Mr. Paul Iloegbouba, expressed that the prevailing economic challenges in the country hinder many impoverished individuals from accessing healthcare.
He emphasized the foundation’s commitment to providing medical assistance to those who cannot afford hospital bills, addressing various health issues through free treatment.
“We try to see how we can help the poor masses who cannot afford to go to hospital; we try to provide for them through medical means of free medical treatment,” he said.
“Basically, we are handling almost all general treatment when it comes to medical issues except deep surgical,” he said.
The medical services covered a range of treatments, including malaria/typhoid, minor surgery, therapy, eye checkups, free glasses, and more, excluding deep surgical procedures.
Mr. Iloegbouba highlighted the foundation’s longstanding commitment, having initiated free medical treatments since 2014. He shared his passion for the work, driven by a desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
“We have been doing this in our own capacity, we have moved from local government to local government. We have been in Udi in Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia and some other states.
“Today we are doing something we have not done before, and today will make it 15th medical outreach we had done since inception which is running into millions of Naira.
“We have a lot of individuals supporting what we are doing and that is why we have gone to these extent and as an Engineer, I drive my passion for the work some years back when I saw some people that cannot afford medical treatment.
“Life is not about how much cash, cars or houses but the lives we are able to save and it makes sense when we touch people’s life,” Iloegbouba said.
Dr. Chukwunoso Ofonere, President of the Association of Residents Doctors, ESUT Teaching Hospital, explained the collaboration’s purpose in ensuring that indigent residents in Enugu can access quality and affordable healthcare. The outreach featured a diverse team of medical professionals, including ophthalmologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, obstetricians and gynecologists, dental surgeons, general surgeons, and more.
He said, “So, when we found this opportunity of partnering with the foundation, we decided to do that for the benefit of our people.
“We have different type of doctors here, we have ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, paediatricians, Obstetricians and Gynaecologist, Dental Surgeon, General Surgeon and many others because it is a medical and surgical outreach.
“But we are not doing any surgery here, what we do is to sort out patients that are due for surgery and plan them for surgery.
“We have an ambulance in case of any emergency or anyone that requires immediate surgery and attention.
“We also have more than 50 medical doctors even though, we targeted 100 doctors, 50 para medicals, nurses, physiotherapist, dental therapist, dieticians and laboratory scientists.”
On her part, the co-founder of PBIF, Mrs. Favour Iloegbouba, emphasized that the initiative aimed to impact and save lives, with a focus on ensuring people celebrate Christmas in good health. She shared that the foundation had spent over N50 million since inception, providing free medical treatment to those in need.
“This is what pushed us into putting it now instead of January or any other month and in a rough estimate, we have spent more than N50 million since inception, treating people free of charge,” she said.
Beneficiaries of the outreach, such as Mrs. Elizabeth Ugwu and Mrs. Olaedo Okafor, expressed gratitude for the medical assistance received, highlighting the foundation’s positive impact on the community’s health and well-being.
Mrs. Ugwu emphasized that the support from foundations like PBIF, when replicated by other well-off individuals, could contribute to the improvement of healthcare in Nigeria.
Mrs Okafor on the other hand, described the outreach as ‘great and wonderful’.
“They are just attending to everybody, even the children too. I am impressed on how they address issues here. I will continue to pray for this foundation,” she added.