In line with its mission of providing healthcare to the sick and underprivileged individuals in the society, wife of Delta Governor, Dame Edith Okowa and Founder O5 Initiative, has embarked on another round of free grassroots medical outreach across the state.
The medical outreach targeted towards correction and restoration of eye defects, kicked off Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at the General Hospital Eku, Ethiope East local government area which serves as the take off point for the Delta Central District of the state.
Flagging-off the month long outreach, Dame Okowa noted that despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the passion of O5 Initiative alongside partners from Restore Sight Africa and the State Ministry of Health in giving attention to the eyes cannot be overemphasized quoting the Holy Bible according to Matthew 6:22 which says, “Your eye is the lamp of your body, if your eyes are healthy, your whole body is full of light”.
Adding that, “the eye is indeed the window of the soul. As we are aware, blindness is bad, it is a life threatening condition, it brings depression and hinders movement. Many persons suffer due to lack of affordable medical care, illiteracy and poverty. That is why we have brought this outreach to your doorstep in order to increase accessibility and remove the barrier of cost.”
While recounting the success stories of the maiden edition of the reachout, Dame Okowa said, “In 2018, We went round the 25 LGAs where a total of 26,304 patients were seen, 15,811 eyeglasses were distributed, 9,386 eye drugs dispensed and 2,241 surgeries were performed. I am particularly happy because we had success stories from patients within and outside the state, we are still celebrating the the testimonies from men, women even Children till now.
“Despite the COVID 19 pandemic, the O5 Initiative in partnership with Restore Sight Africa and the ministry of Health will throughout this month, visit the three senatorial district starting with Delta Central (Eku), Delta South (Oleh) and finally Delta North(Asaba). Provision has been made for COVID 19 tests as well as free eye screening, Surgery, distribution of free glasses and free medication.
“The need for every Deltan to be healthy and enjoy the benefit of the Prosperity Agenda is of utmost importance to this administration, therefore, I urge all and sundry to be part of this program. I am convinced that at the end of our visit, the testimony will be “I was blind now I can see”.
Dame Okowa commended the team of Restore sight Africa led by Dr Ernest Ogbedo for their passion and commitment, “you have done it before, I have the assurance that the Lord will use you again for the restoration of the sight of Deltans”.
She also thanked the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye and the medical personnel of the ministry of Health for their assistance. The Chairmen of the 8 Local Government Areas of Delta Central were also commended for their response towards the outreach.
Meanwhile, the governor’s wife paid glowing tribute to a strong supporter of the O5 Initiative and a daughter of Delta Central, late Barrister Mrs Mary Iyasere, who passed on recently.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Ethiope East Local Government Area, Pharm. Victor Ofobrukueta said, “Deltans are indeed proud of the activities of the O5 Initiative that has transformed lives.
“We are privileged to host the outreach this year and pray that Her Excellency is continually strengthened for what lies ahead”.
Dr Ernest Ogbedo on his part, reechoed the stance of the wife of the governor, encouraging opinion leaders and politicians to help bring people who need eye medications but are unable to come unaided.
Several of the patients who spoke with journalists, testified how their sights had greatly improved after receiving correctional glasses.