Like previously stated, I took it as a cross to reach out to good spirited individuals, NGO's, government and corporate bodies to come to the aide of our brothers and sisters suffering, passing through excruciating pains, abandoned and neglected in the Hospital because of money to pay for outstanding medical bills. Patients who had passed through one form of life threatening medical conditions or the other but survived miraculously, thanks to the expertise of medical professionals at New Creation Medical Hospital Orji, in Owerri North LGA of Imo State, South East Nigeria.
Most of the detained patients have being discharged for more than three months, but could not be allowed to go home until after they pay their Hospital bills. I took the challenge, believing God. Through Facebook post, and phone calls, I reach out to friends. Out of the seven patients, good Samaritans responded positively by raising funds and 2 patients were earlier set free, and went home happily.
On Thursday April 27, I put a call across to Hon. Chike Okafor, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services, and asked him to do me a favor. He in return asked what's that. I said "Sir, please there are patients detained at a Hospital in Owerri for inability to pay Hospital bills, majority are women who went through surgeries during child birth, but family conditions are so pathetic, they couldn't pay bills after discharge". Without thinking twice, Deacon Chike Okafor said, "Ifeanyi, I will be in Owerri tomorrow, meet me in my House by 9am so we can go together to the Hospital to assist".
I did as he requested, though he was scheduled to deliver a keynote address by 11am same day at the Synod of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province of the Anglican Communion, Ideato North Archdeaconry. On getting to his House, he requested I join them to the Synod, that on return, we branch to the Hospital.
Due to the exigencies of his office, he said "Ifeanyi, please manage this one hundred and fifty thousand naira, and see how you can use it and assist those patients, I can't make it following you to the Hospital".
And to the glory of God, I invited two Imo sons, Achara Man and M Cot Greens to accompany me to the Hospital, were I interacted with the Hospital management and the remaining five patients discharged since three months, looking at their bills, I paid for the young lady who had spent three months after discharge. Mrs Chinaza Emegolu, 22yrs, with case of caesarian section due to obstructed labour +post datism. Husband, a fuel pump attendant, who lost his job, six months ago. I equally drove her back to her residence.
In the same Hospital, we had 4 other critical conditions including an orphan.
Amadi Gift, 33yrs. Bill:N380, 000. From Ngor Okpala LGA
Okpara Eberechi, 23yrs, Bill N180, 500.00,from Owerri West LGA
Nwachukwu Chioma, 32yrs, Bill N305, 000, from Mbutu, Aboh Mbaise LGA
Emmanuel Mary, 30yrs, Bill N247, 000, from Mbieri, Mbaitoli LGA.
While, I thank God for using Hon. Chike Okafor to put smiles on the Face of Mrs Emegolu, who is now at home with her new born, I passionately appeal for more helps to ensure the reaming four persons are set free.
God bless you as you answer to this call of Evangelisim.
IfeanyiCy Njoku is Executive Director; Center For Youth Development and Peace Initiative