Several oil-producing communities in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local government Area of Rivers State were benefitting from the 7-day free medical programme organized by the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), in conjunction with Global Hands Medical Foundation. The free medical services, which will end on Saturday, is taking place at the Maternity and Child health centre in Ogbe Ukwu, Ndoni.

The Chief Medical Director for the programme, Dr. Titus Antai, said he was very impressed by the massive turn-out of the people to take advantage of the free health care, with over 500 patients in attendance within the first 2 days of the one one-week programme. “We have performed many major surgeries for fibroid, ovarian cyst, hernia, as well as caesarean sections. We have also performed cataract extraction for some patients with impaired vision.”

Dr. Antai highlighted the benefits of the NDDC free medical programme, noting that it was very useful for the poor and less privileged people. He said that many people in the rural areas find it difficult to access medical services on account of poverty, citing the case of two women whose delivery were delayed because they could not raise the money for a caesarian section in a private clinic.

He said: “The people complain that medical services in their communities are very expensive because they are seen as coming from oil-producing areas. The private clinics here are very expensive for the people. So, without the free health programme of the NDDC, most of them are more or less helpless.”

Elder Ita Onukak, the Vice Chairman of Global Hands Medical Foundation, said that he was pleased that the people of Ndoni and the neighbouring communities came in large numbers for the free health mission. “I am very happy with the set up and the people have testified that they were well treated by the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel,” he said.

One of those who benefitted from the free health programme, Mrs. Chigozie Isaac, was delivered of twins, a boy and a girl. Although the boy died at birth, the Ndoni woman was still full of praises to God and the NDDC for the surviving girl.

The popular Free Health Care Medical Programme, which covers different communities in the Niger Delta region, is part of NDDC’s commitment to enhance better healthcare delivery to the people.

“The Governing Board of NDDC has decided that henceforth every programme and project being embarked upon by the Commission must go through the proper strategic planning process. Management has directed that proponents of new projects/programmes must submit the Concept Notes before such projects or programmes can be included in the NDDC