No fewer than 20 Indian doctors have arrived in Awka for a 10-day medical mission to Anambra commencing from Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team, comprising 15 male and five female doctors, is in the state at the instance of the Rotary Club, District 9142, Awka.
While in Anambra, the team will be based at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka.
According to the former District Governor of the club, Mr Emman Udeakpe, who has been involved in arranging the mission, the initiative commenced since 2016.
“They will undertake consultation and treatment of all kinds of ailments and surgeries.
“If you have sick people at home requiring attention, this is an opportunity of a life time to meet the Indian doctors that many expend a lot of funds to go and consult in far away India.
“They are here at your doorstep to attend to your medical needs, free of charge, through the instrumentality of the Rotary Club 9142,” Udeakpe said, at a reception party held in their honour in Awka.
The leader of the Indian team, Dr Jorsan Fernandez, said the team was made up of specialists in varied fields of medicine including surgeons, orthopedics, paediatricians, dentists, anesthetics, urologists and gynaecologists.
Fernandez said besides the free medical services, the mission would also focus on vocational training and skills acquisition for the medical team at COOUTH.
“We will be teaching the students, nurses, resident doctors and consultants on the various ways and areas they need our help, especially surgical skills.
“We want a collaborative mission, where we intend a transfer of technology to our Nigerian colleagues.
“We have some equipment that we intend to leave behind for our colleagues at the hospital; we will take our colleagues through the process of their use.
“We are undertaking this free of charge,” the team leader said, noting that the current mission would serve as needs assessment for subsequent Missions.
He said that doctors were also members of Rotary International, District 3170, comprising three states in India.
Dr Basil Nwankwo, the Chief Medical Director of COOUTH, said his facility and his principal officers would be at the service of the mission.
“I know that this is a relationship that will work in favour of our institution; we are ready for the collaboration,” Nwankwo said.
Mrs Sally Mbanefo, the Commissioner for Diaspora, Local Arts, Culture and Tourism, who was part of the welcome party, assured the mission that they would have a rewarding experience while in the state.
“Find time during your mission to undertake a tour of some tourist sites in the state; we have exciting places that will motivate you to come back once more.
“Our people are warm; there are natural waterfalls and caves.
“We also have a number of resorts and tourist centres, apart from the fact that the state is an investment destination. That will be when you are done with your primary purpose of being here.
“It is unfortunate that many of you on the mission are all married, you could have opted to marry here to produce mix breed just like me,” Mbanefo, a half cast, said.
Also, the Commissioner for information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba, dislcosed that the state had all along been considering collaboration with India on a medical facility.
“The Rotary Club District 9142 may have inadvertently actualised the wish of the state government to open an avenue through which a fruitful collaboration, for such a massive project to be actualised.
“It is the desire of the Governor of Anambra State under, Chief Willie Obiano, to touch humanity by providing good health services at minimal cost to the very poor among us.
“This mission will do just that by attending to people, who will ordinarily not be able to access your services free of charge.
“Your country has been able to kick-out the endemic scourge like polio in spite of the massive size of your country; we need the strategy that you adopted to get there,” Adinuba said.
NAN further reports that Rotary is both a local and International service organisation, whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service.
They undertake to advance goodwill and peace around the world.
It is a non-political and non-sectarian organisation open to all people regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, or political preference.
Rotarians usually gather weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, to fulfill their first guiding principle and to develop friendships as an opportunity for service.
The Rotarian’s primary motto is “Service Above Self’’; its secondary motto is “One profits most who serves best.”