About 4,819 persons were recently treated free of charge during a three-day medical outreach organised by Dr. Samuel Duro Oloyo at Ayetoro Gbede in Kogi State. Rebecca Ejifoma reports
Recently, United States-based medical practitioner and indigene of Ayetoro-Gbede, in Kogi State, Dr. Samuel Oloyo, extended philanthropic gestures to his people in the form of free medical care to thousands in the area. The medical outreach was the second session organised by Oloyo, after the success of the first outreach, which was conducted in August 2012, during which about 2,500 people were treated.
The medical outreach was carried out by 28 medical doctors, among who were ophthalmologists, dentists, family health physicians, and general medicine specialists. The doctors were supported by 15 nurses, two pharmacists, two laboratory technologists, five opticians, and over 30 non- medical persons, who assisted to organise the large crowd.
Initially, the attendance figure was pegged at 3,175, who had registered under the general treatment category, but before the commencement of the outreach, an additional 544 registered at the venue, bringing the initial figure treated to 3,719. Under the eye-related category, 800 persons had registered before the programme commenced, but ultimately, 1,100 persons were treated.
The highpoint of the philanthropic gesture was the presentation of about 600 free pairs of medicated glasses to beneficiaries. Referrals were also provided for those who needed further investigations or attention. Beneficiaries of the free treatment were drawn from 10 communities in the Ayetoro-Gbede neighbourhood. Some beneficiaries also travelled from Lokoja, Ilorin, Okene, and neighbouring local government areas in Ekiti and Ondo states.
During the free medical outreach, the hitherto sleepy government-owned general hospital in the community came alive, as people trooped to the venue in large numbers to partake of the free offer that was at hand. They sought to soothe the pains they had nursed over time with the relief that was brought to their doorstep at no cost to them.
Providing an insight into the motivation for the outreach, Oloyo, who grew up in Ayetoro-Gbede, explained that God had blessed him so much that he could be a blessing to others. He stressed that rather than bemoaning the depressing nature of poor medical facilities available to the people, in the face of their yawning levels of financial disability, it was more effective to intervene at some levels, to reduce the anxiety of the people over their health.
While commending Oloyo for his kindness and humanity, his friend and programme supporter, Mr. Ola Oyelola, a former Executive Director of First Bank plc, who also hails from Ayetoro Gbede, expressed belief that the medical outreach and philanthropic activities were channels of offering worship to God, stressing that worshipping God goes beyond singing and dancing, but also includes giving to the needy.
On hand to coordinate the large crowds was another indigene, Elder Ola-Olu Eniolorunda, who had a hectic time managing the large number of people, and who, like the blind Bartimaeus in the Bible, did not want a healing opportunity to pass them by.
The beneficiaries were full of appreciation for Oloyo. They prayed he would be blessed with life and resources to do even more. Responding, Oloyo who looked forward to doing more, commended his Ayetoro-Gbede compatriots, some of who contributed in various ways to ensure the success of the programme. He was particularly appreciative of members of Ayetoro-Gbede Global Network (AGN), a socioeconomic club motivated for the development of the community, whom he noted had not only deployed support to the medical outreach but had also put funds together to intervene in rehabilitating buildings at the Community High School, and also intervene in other dysfunctional social infrastructures in the community.
At the end of the medical rhapsody, the 28 medical doctors, including eight optometrists, treated a total of 4,866 patients. While 1,147 patients were seen for eye problems, a total of 568 reading glasses were dispensed and 199 prescription glasses fitted on site. Seventy-one people were referred and 498 eye drops prescribed. Meanwhile, patients seen for general medical problems were 3719.