The 38th edition of the 5-day Free Medical Mission of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, which began on Monday, April 17, 2023, at the Model Primary Health Care Center, Ikuru Town in Andoni Local Government Area, produced a harvest of testimonies from beneficiaries in the first 2 days of the intervention.
53 surgeries were successfully carried out between Monday and Tuesday, with over 1,600 people attended to.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Matilda Isaac, could not control her emotions as she danced while narrating her prolonged battle with migraines.
In her testimony on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at the Medical Mission’s formal opening ceremony attended by the representative of His Royal Majesty, King (Dr) Aaron Miller Ikuru, the Okaan-Ama of Ikuru Town, Chief William Michael Omayi, members of Andoni LGA Executive Council, representative of Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Effiong Okon, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) and traditional rulers, Mrs Isaac commended the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation for what she called an uncommon humanitarian gestures.
“I knew God brought O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation to Ikuru just because of me. The medical people attended to me as if I’m their mother, and they gave me medicines”, she narrated, adding that her migraine disappeared after taking just one dose of the prescribed medications.
But perhaps the most moving of the testimonies came from a fish vendor, Mrs. Immaculate Isaiah, who has been living and battling with a ruptured navel.
She said she usually goes through excruciating pain whenever a bout occurs, which has adversely affected her businesses and every other activity she has to do.
“I have been to three hospitals at Ngo and Bori, and all the doctors recommended a surgical operation to remove the rupture in my navel.
“Money has been my challenge, as the least the doctors ask to be paid is N350,000. I don’t have much money, and nobody agreed to lend it to me.
“But O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation came and carried out the operation. What the doctors wanted to do at N350, 000, O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation has done it free of charge. They have changed my story, and my God will bless them richly.
“I want to thank Dr Seinye Lulu-Briggs, whose vision made these a reality. I won’t forget her for saving my life”, she said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation Chairman, Dr. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs reaffirmed her commitment to the protection of the health and general well-being of the most underserved in communities across Nigeria.
She noted that health remained the most critical asset, adding that citizens require good health to live full, free, active and productive lives.
Dr Seinye Lulu-Briggs noted that according to the World Health Organization despite efforts to increase healthcare provision in Nigeria, “about 6 out of 10 Nigerians lack access to quality primary healthcare services”, adding that “about 80 per cent have become poor due to ill health or payment for medical services”.
According to her, “As the world recovers from the disruptions of the global COVID-19 pandemic and faces economic turbulence, Nigerians are finding it difficult to afford three square meals, not to talk about seeking professional medical care for their ailments.
“We are, regrettably, more concerned about survival than attending to our health. This should not be the case. Everybody deserves good health and the ability to seek quality care when needed.
Our Free Medical Missions routinely step in the gap providing a welcome respite to those who cannot afford to pay out of pocket to address their illnesses”.
She further disclosed that since the Foundation began hosting Free Medical Missions in 2005, it has attended to over 139,500 persons.
By the end of the day on Thursday, April 20, 2023, 4,019 people had been treated at the Free Medical Missions clinic, including 110 who underwent surgery.
The 38th Free Medical Mission in Ikuru Town will end on Friday, April 21, 2023.