HEADLINE | Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019

Doctors perform 240 free surgeries at pistis foundation outreach in Lagos

Pistis Foundation, the social intervention arm of The Elevation Church, Lagos impacted the lives of over 3500 financially challenged people and successfully conducted over 240 free surgeries during its recently concluded Ubomi Medical and Surgical Outreach, which held at the Pistis Annex and the Amethyst Hospital, Lekki, Lagos.

The one-week free intervention programme which ended on March 22, 2019, was in collaboration with Pro-Health International, a non-profit voluntary health care organization that has been involved in over 170 of such outreaches across Africa.

During the outreach, over 200 medical volunteers attended to people who came en masse within and outside Lagos to benefit from the initiative. At no cost, surgeries ranging from eye, dental, general, orthopaedic, paediatric and more were performed. The Pistis Foundation also took delivery of three babies during the week, while still providing free post-event medical care at partner hospitals which include Amethyst Hospital, St Kizito and Paediatric Hospital, all in Lekki.

The Board Chairman of Pistis Foundation and Lead Pastor of The Elevation Church, Pastor Godman Akinlabi said the event was prompted by the need to bridge the gap in Nigeria's healthcare system, especially as it affects the less privileged. "We are overwhelmed by the number of lives this programme has impacted.

A lot of individuals walked in here blind in one eye or both and they left being able to see. Witnessing over 3500 people with over 6,000 health challenges that were successfully attended to by medical volunteers from all over our nation is a very humbling experience for us. We appreciate Pro-Health International, Amethyst Hospital, Zenera Consulting, Chi Pharmaceuticals and our other partners for making the event a huge success".

"Ubomi has brought a new lease of life to people who cannot afford proper medical care. For us as a faith-based organisation, the outreach has also strengthened our conviction to continue to make a positive difference in our society without waiting on the government. With the testimonials from beneficiaries and the general positive feedback, we are committed to making this a yearly affair and to scaling it up", he added.

Dr Ikot Ibanga, founder of Pro-Health International described the outreach as exceptional. "Being in Lagos, I didn't expect the level of sickness in terms of the surgical cases, especially the women, so it has been interesting. We operated on a lot of patients with uterine fibroid during the outreach." He expressed that the programme was a life-saver for a lot of widows, orphans and underprivileged people who could not afford medical treatment. One beneficiary had a uterine fibroid weighing about 16kg removed.

The General Manager of Pistis Foundation, Leonard Thomas, also remarked that the event has been life changing and life transforming not only for the beneficiaries but the volunteers. "We had surgeons travel down from Sokoto and all parts of the country. Surgeons are the most difficult to get but they have volunteered their time and energy to give back to the society through the Pistis Foundation. There were about 6000 interventions, 240 surgical procedures performed, three babies delivered and no single case went bad."

The Lagos State Ministry of Health offered support to Pistis Foundation during the outreach by validating the licenses of all medical personnel and providing ambulance services. During a visit on the second day of the outreach, the representative of Lagos State's Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mrs Funmi Sokunbi took a tour of the treatment facilities and commended Pistis Foundation and Pro-Health International for the initiative. "Lagos State government will always welcome initiatives like this because it complements the vision of the Ministry of Health towards ensuring universal health coverage. The medical mission is a stop-gap and an alternative access to healthcare", she said.

Following the successful completion of the maiden edition of the outreach in Lagos Island, Akinlabi hinted that the next outreach will hold in Lagos mainland next year. Akinlabi said this at an appreciation dinner organized to celebrate partners and volunteers who contributed towards the success of the outreach.