A Non-Governmental Organisation, Waziri Foundation on Sunday offered free medical care to cover over 1,000 patients suffering from different ailments in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Its founder, Dr Aliyu Dahiru-Waziri, who is also a Consultant at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, made the disclosure in an interview with Journalists in Zaria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dahiru-Waziri spoke on the sideline sidelines of the exercise held at Bello Aliyu LGA Primary School, Kofar Doka, Zaria.
He said: “Our target is to treat more than a thousand today and to also do free genotype test for more than 100 people and after the genotype testing, we will follow it up with counselling so that we tell them the implication of even having the sickle cell gene in them.
“This is a community outreach, which we try to organise in order to reach out to indigent patients whom we know that genuinely cannot afford some medical drugs.
“Also, some cannot genuinely even transport themselves to health facilities, so, we prefer taking the healthcare facility to them to be able to make a diagnosis and treat them appropriately.”
The medical practitioner said the focus was on patients suffering from all forms of sicknesses, ranging from hypertension, diabetes, malaria among others.
Dahiru-Waziri said the exercise gave special attention to those suffering from sickle cell.
“We gave them special treatment with medications and everything, and for those patients, we cannot treat at this point, we referred them to the nearest health facility for them to get the best of treatment,” he said.
He said the foundation was primarily established to look into the issues of health and education in the society with a view to complementing government efforts in ameliorating some of the challenges.
According to him, the ultimate goal of the foundation was to ensure that people get the necessary care to live healthy and pursue their daily activities.
On education, he said the foundation was stepping efforts to reduce the illiteracy level, especially in Northern Nigeria.
“That’s why we are also involved in other activities like quiz competition, debate and public lectures and other related areas.
“Our hope and aspiration are to extend the gesture to other areas, however, our main problem is finance, as you can see, the programme we are holding today didn’t happen just like that.
“It occurred as a result of collaboration with various quarters, including Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) who donated some drugs.
“We also have Frontier Hospital Kaduna, Sickle Cell Foundation, Sickle Cell Aid and Ahmadu Bello University Medical Students Association. They all came together, assisted us in making sure the programme is successful,” he noted.
He said that the foundation was unable to provide some needed drugs to the beneficiaries due to financial constraints.
“But in terms of expertise, we have all sort of Doctors from Consultants to the most junior Doctors, everybody is here. My appeal is for wealthy individuals of the society to come in and assist.
“Our door is always open, they should come and partner with us so that collectively we can complement government efforts towards serving the society better,” he pleaded.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that patients started trooping to the venue as early as 7:00 a.m. to access medication.
A cross-section of the patients interviewed said they decided to come very early in order not to miss the opportunity as they had no money to visit hospitals.
They appreciated the Waziri Foundation for what they described as a gigantic humanitarian gesture targeted at the less privileged members of the society.