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    NAS lavishes free medical on Bayelsa community

    From  Femi  Folaranmi, Yenagoa

    The road  to  Amatolo in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State is  bumpy  and  dusty. The road, constructed  through  self-efforts  of  the people  is  passable  only   during    the  dry  season.

    During  the   rains, the  people of Amatolo and adjoining communities resort  to the use of  boats to reach  their  kith  and  kin  in  the affected  communities. However,  the bumpy road is not  the only source of worry  to  the people.

    The community  lacks   functional  health  facilities. Many   narrated   their harrowing experiences  in trying  to   get  medical care,  either,   in Oporoma, only accessible  by the water,  or Amassoma, accessible  by road during dry season, and  water  during  rainy season.

    But    luck smiled  on  them recently,  as  members  of   the National  Association  of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity),  in  line with ‘Humanistic Ideal’ , which  according  to the coordinator of its medical mission, Mr. Timothy Egbonoje,  is part of the four cardinal points  of the Pyrates Confraternity, decided  to carry out  a  free  medical  outreach  at the community  town hall,  Amatolo.

    It was  an  ample  opportunity  for  the people,  young and old, females and males, chiefs  and their subjects to access medical care. About 500 people were at the community town hall, trying to treat various   ailments.  Sadly, however, they  were unable  to  meet their health needs   as  the Health Centre in the community had remained   under lock and key.

    Egbonoje told  the  paramount  ruler, Amananowei, King Hanson Orubiri  in  his palace,  that from contributions  from its members, NAS  decided to carry out  the medical outreach  because of  the peculiar  terrain in Amatolo. He said  the idea was  to choose a rural community  in the state and mobilise  medical personnel to given adequate medical care to the people.

    He  explained  that  in  time past,  NAS visited  Obogboro  in  Yenagoa LGA, Otuoke  in Ogbia LG, Kaiama  and  Opokuma in Kolokuma/ Opokuma LG and Nembe in Nembe LG.

    Orubiri commended  NAS  for  selecting  Amatolo   for  free medical  outreach.  He  described it as timely,  given  the inadequate  medical  care available  to  the people, due to poverty  and lack  of  functional health centre. The  monarch appealed  to  the government  to focus attention on the health sector to help the people.

    In an interview  the state chairman of NAS, Mr. Oluwafemi  Folaranmi  said  NAS, Bayelsa State chapter, remained  committed to the visions of  its International President, Mr. Arthur Boje,  to step up its advocacy campaigns,  as well as concentrate on the  rural areas,  to  make  meaningful  impact.

    He disclosed that  it was in the bid  to follow  the footsteps of Boje  that  the national executive designed   programmes  to ensure that  Bayelsans feel  the impact of NAS,  especially   the  rural communities:

    “Today, we,  members  of Pyrate Confraternity  have  come to Amatolo community to carry out a free medical mission. This free medical mission falls under one of our compass points, ‘Humanistic Ideals.’ Several  communities  in Nigeria have benefitting  from NAS medical mission.

    “In Bayelsa, five communities,  including residents  of Bakassi camp, have benefitted from the medical mission.  It is the vision of our International President,  Mr. Arthur Boje, that we step up our advocacy campaigns,  and we in Bayelsa  State chapter have keyed into his vision and we are using this medical mission,  and other programmes to ensure we reach the rural areas and bring positive impact  into  their lives.”

    “You can see that we are here with a full complement of medical personnel, and they are ready to provide adequate medical care for the people, for the duration of this medical mission. It is from members that the funds for  this medical mission were raised because in Pyrate Confraternity,  providing help such as  this,  to these indigent people is a thing we do with joy.

    “The number of people you are seeing here is a pointer that there is a gap in the provision of health care for the people of this community. We are made to understand that there is no functional health care system  and this is saddening.”

    Chief  Ologidi commended NAS for the quality  drugs and the medical personnel deployed  for the health  programme: “We  have  seen  the efforts of  NAS. They have really tried. They have come here on a free medical mission. Our people have been given drugs and treated.

    “We appeal to other humanitarian organisations to emulate NAS, and help the rural people in the area of medical delivery. As you can see for yourself,  our people are happy. You can see many with   smiles on their faces.”

    King  Orubiri  stated that NAS, by  the  gesture has set the pace in Amatolo community, for   government and other organisations to follow. According   to him, such  intervention by organisations  has never taken place in Amatolo community before:

    “I am really  impressed with NAS. I am quite appreciative of the efforts of NAS. What government has not done, NAS is doing it  . The impact of this medical mission is far reaching, the people are happy as you can see for yourselves. They have received drugs  for  various ailments, children have been treated and the elderly ones got drugs, too. It goes to show that with organisations,  such as NAS, there  is hope for Nigeria.”

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