Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara’s medical outreach successfully separated co-joined twins in Bauchi state, and gave lifeline to thousand others with various life-threatening ailments. NAJIB SANI reports
One of the three arms of government in a democratic system is the legislature or parliament, and it plays an important role in fostering good governance. The constitutional roles of a legislator are mainly lawmaking, making changes to existing laws or passing new legislations based on his constituents ‘ needs.
Additional duties of a parliamentarian includes: creating policies, approving budgets drafted by the executive council and participation in debates on important national issues, among others.
Dogara, charity services
But the incumbent Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, who represents Dass, Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa Constituency of Bauchi state, believes that aside the aforesaid duties, he owes his people another social responsibility and charity services.
Perhaps, having satisfied with his representation at the National Assembly, the people of the three local governments elected Dogara for three consecutive terms which began from 2007 and will last until next year 2019.
It would be recalled that in May 2017, the speaker had flagged off roads projects in Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro local government areas where he disclosed that the federal government’s projects were facilitated by him and other National Assembly members from the state.
According to him, if those roads were to be constructed by Bauchi state government, it would take it as long as 10 years or more due to the huge amount of money they would gulf.
“I want to tell you that these are not the only roads we will do, there are other roads projects and by the grace of God, we will finish them in the next two years “.
Benefit in representation
“We will continue to attract federal projects across the length and breadth of Bauchi state. The value of all the roads across the state that we are doing is over N50 billion. If we were to rely on the state government only to do that work, it cannot be done in 10 years. So who says there is no benefit in representation? He stated while flagging off the roads construction.
Apart from the facilitation of federal projects, the speaker deemed
it good to embark on personal projects, focusing more on the provision of free medical outreach not only to the people of the three local governments of his constituency but the gesture was extended to all the 20 local governments of the state.
Medical treatment of 20, 000 patients
Our Correspondent reports that last year, the Speaker sponsored medical treatment of 20, 000 patients drawn from the 20 local governments of Bauchi state, most of whose ailments were eye problems and other serious diseases.
Last week, the Speaker flagged off another free medical outreach targeting 15,
000 beneficiaries, across the state, at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi.
Doctors’ marvelous deeds
The exercise was coordinated by a medical Non- Governmental
Organization (NGO), called Doctors on The Move Africa. But this time around, the doctors did something marvelous as they conducted a surgery on a conjoined twins successfully, and rendered several services including consultations and drugs prescriptions to patients.
Likewise, diabetes and hypertension screenings, reading glasses and cataract operation were also done.
Other services sponsored by the speaker were surgeries for patients with Lipomas, Hernia, Fibroids and Goitre respectively. The medical team had also carried out ultrasound scanning, HIV /AIDS and Hepatitis screening as well as public health campaigns during the free medical outreach worth millions of naira.
Team leader of Doctors on The Move Africa Dr Joseph Kigbu, explained that they would remain in the state for the exercise for as long as four weeks adding that it would be conducted at major towns of Bauchi, Azare, Dass and Tafawa Balewa where people who need the services should converge on.
430 cataract surgery
“By this time last year, the doctors saw over 20, 000 patients and conducted 430 cataract surgery. In this second phase of the outreach, we will do general surgery which includes both minor and major surgeries. We will also be scanning patients and surgeries such as cataractectomy (eye surgery), hysterectomy (operation of the uterus) and myomectomy (Fibroid surgery). We will also provide 200 reading glasses to patients “. He noted.
Dr Kigbu therefore lauded the speaker for sponsoring the program which he stated would bring succour to the downtrodden members of the society.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Abubakar Tafawa
Less privileged people Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, Dr Mohammed Alkali, represented by the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr Rabiu
Gwadabe, said the hospital has provided the needed machines, equipment and adequate health personnel to ensure the success of the exercise.
He therefore urged the beneficiaries to conduct themselves in an orderly manner so that the exercise would be hitch free.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, represented by a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly representing Tafawa Balewa Constituency, Aminu Tukur, explained that the gesture was meant to assist the less privileged people of the state.
“I believe that such intervention will go a long way in helping the poor especially that the universal health coverage has not reached the people at the grassroots, so an intervention of this nature still has a place in contemporary healthcare delivery system “. He said.
He noted that people from other states in the North east could also come and access services during the one month free medical outreach.
Free medical outreach
“The decision to come up with this free medical outreach was in consideration of the present financial predicament faced by the masses as many people with serious sicknesses cannot settle their medical bills. As such, they are left to suffer “.
However, the most interesting thing during the exercise was the successful operation carried out on the conjoined twins where they were separated as one of them who was born alive survived while the other one that was born dead had been buried.
In an interview with the father of the conjoined twins, Malam Shuaibu Dan Galadima, a resident of Mainamaji Village of Alkaleri local government area of the state, he expressed gratitude to the speaker for the gesture.
He revealed that the conjoined twins were delivered of two months ago, saying he and their mother had been suffering with them as they bring them to the teaching hospital on a regular basis.
“At times, we found it difficult to even get transportation fare to take the conjoined twins to the hospital. But we are very grateful to Dogara, for sponsoring this surgery and we are thankful to God that the babies survived “. He said.
While the mother Iklima Sarkin Baka, disclosed that one of the conjoined twins is a male child with complete parts of the body while the other is a female without a head.
She however said that she didn’t notice any strange feelings from the time of pregnancy up-to the time of labour.
Their mother further said that although she had been going to hospital for ante natal, she was never told by doctors that she was going to give birth to twins neither did they detect the abnormal twin.
“As we keep coming to the hospital with the baby, we were later told that Dogara would sponsor his surgery. We give thanks to God Almighty and pray God to reward the speaker abundantly. I am elated that my child has survived “. She exclaimed.
A medical expert told Blueprint that such operation would have cost the parents over N1 million, in any health facility, asserting that if not for the speaker’s intervention, the conjoined twins might have died.