No fewer than 400 prison inmates at the Ogwashi-Uku prison in Aniocha south local government area of Delta state have received free treatment and medication at the flag- off of an 8-day free medical outreach to prison formations across the state.
The free medical programme, organised by the 05 Initiative in conjunction with the Isioma Okobah Foundation and medical students from Georgia State University, Atlanta Georgia, USA, is targeted at tackling common ailments facing prison inmates.
The wife of Delta state governor and founder of 05 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, who flagged off the programme at Ogwashi-Uku prison, appealed to wealthy Nigerians to remember those in dire need of assistance by sharing and showing them love as admonished by Jesus Christ, saying that Jesus was an epitome of love.
Dame Okowa said that the joint partnership for the 2017 free medical programme was aimed at expanding the scope of the scheme with a view to accommodating more beneficiaries and bringing the facilities closer to the door steps of the people.
She said: “The O5 team gladly accepted to collaborate with the Isioma Okobah Foundation because their program is in line with the mission of the O5 Initiative which include: feeding the hungry, Caring for the sick, providing shelter for the homeless, clothing the naked and visiting the prisoners.
“The prison environment is not strange to us. The O5 team has regularly visited the inmates, we have provided pipe borne water, quarterly provision of drugs, provisions of sanitary and social amenities and payment of option of fine for those who were granted freedom. This is our ministry and we are grateful to God for the collaboration.
“Let me assure all the beneficiaries that by the reason of this medical outreach your health will be restored. I am certain that the doctors will give the best of attention, and I urge you to follow the prescriptions.”
She also commended the medical students who came all the way from Atlanta Georgia, who paid their ticket themselves, leaving their comfort zones just to worship God in Nigeria. She described their gesture as genuine service and prayed that God should intervene in their situations.
“I also thank the student doctors from the United States of America USA, for giving their time to humanitarian service, God bless you. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I encourage you to take a cue from today’s event, do not shy away from the duties assigned to you by God; you too can rekindle the hope of the poor. Let us emulate this kind gesture, as we join forces to change our world one person at a time.”
On her part, founder of Isioma Okobah Foundation, Dr. Isioma Okobah, said that the desire to give inmates a sense of belonging and promote love and care for the less privileged in the society inspired by the vision of the 05 Initiative motivated the free medical outreach.
Okobah explained that the programme as an annual tradition of the foundation was packaged to compliment the policy objectives of the Okowa administration in the health sector, saying that the government was committed to the achievement of efficient, quality and affordable health care for Deltans.
“At a time like this we should remember those who are in need and reach out to them as admonished by Jesus Christ in book of Matthew 25:25-36 and that is why we are here to put smiles on the faces of inmates,” she said.
Earlier, Deputy Comptroller of prison in charge of the Ogwashi-Uku prison, Mr. Frank Okonkwo, and the medical doctor in charge of prisons in Delta state Dr. Ogunbor Elliot, commended the organizers of the free medical outreach for the gesture saying that the programme will give inmates a sense of belonging particularly at this period of yuletide.