39th Free Medical Mission: Dr. Seinye Lulu-Briggs Stresses Need For Accessible, Quality Healthcare

The Chairman of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Dr (Mrs) Seinye Lulu-Briggs, has called for improved healthcare accessibility to bridge the healthcare gap and alleviate suffering among underserved communities.

Speaking during the 39th Free Medical Mission of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation in Ahoada East Local Government Area on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, the renowned philanthropist stressed that healthcare is not a privilege but a fundamental right for all.

Noting that the 39th edition of the free medicare program anticipated attendance of 5,000 individuals, she added that the medical mission aims to deliver essential services, including over 200 general surgeries and many eye surgeries.

Dr. Lulu-Briggs acknowledged the enduring partnership with the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, underscoring the importance of collaboration in achieving widespread healthcare improvements.

Established 22 years ago, the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation aligns its efforts with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 3, prioritizing healthy lives and well-being for all.

The Chairman stressed the Foundation’s role in complementing government initiatives, particularly given economic challenges and rising healthcare costs.

“We have never sought to usurp the government’s role; we only complement its efforts in the face of competing demands for its limited resources. We are all aware of the economic contractions and the cost-of-living crisis, which have caused the prices of everything, including healthcare, in our dear nation to skyrocket alarmingly.

“Many people can no longer afford to feed themselves and their families. Nor do they have the means to live in decent shelter”, she said.

Drawing attention to staggering statistics on malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis in Nigeria, Dr. Lulu-Briggs underscored the urgency of addressing these health crises.

The Foundation aims to combat prevalent diseases and promote preventive healthcare measures through outpatient consultations, counselling, and health education.

In a call for unity and collaboration, Dr. Lulu-Briggs invited organizations and individuals to join efforts to ensure universal access to quality healthcare.

“A tree does not make a forest, goes the idiom. Also, note that there is strength in unity. We will achieve much more with collaborations”, she stated.

Quoting Deuteronomy 32:30, she emphasized the collective strength in addressing societal challenges, urging all stakeholders to unite in advancing healthcare accessibility.

In his address at the event, the Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Hon. Ben Eke, praised the Foundation for its invaluable support to the community and acknowledged the substantial impact of its efforts.

The council boss recounted the challenges faced during previous medical missions in the area and expressed gratitude for the Foundation’s comprehensive approach, particularly highlighting the significant number of surgeries conducted, which had not been possible before. He further requested an extension of the program, emphasizing its importance to the local population.

Also, Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Adaeze Orie, commended the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation for its commitment to improving healthcare access for the underprivileged.

She affirmed the government’s support for the initiative and announced plans for hospital upgrades and the implementation of health insurance, ensuring continued healthcare improvements for the Ahoada people.

The event also featured goodwill remarks from notable figures, including Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, Eze (Sir) Amb. Kelvin Ngozi Anugwo Eze, and Dr. Hilda Ihekaire, Chairman of the Ahoada Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

The occasion was further enlivened by a soul-stirring choral performance by the Chapel of God International Worship Choir, Port Harcourt, which serenaded the audience with the rendition “I Will Sing of the Goodness of God.”

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