By Ikeugonna Eleke
Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has been urged to declare free medical services in the state, as one of the measures to fight COVID-19 in the state.
A philanthropist and governorship hopeful on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Johnbosco Onunkwo, who made the appeal to the state governor, stated that the gesture would encourage citizens in the state to seek healthcare services, from where their health status could be ascertained.
Onunkwo added that because of the harsh economy occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, it would be wise for the state government to consider pregnant women, children and the aged, for free medical services as they remained vulnerable.
In a press release made available to Fides in Awka, which was signed by him, Onunkwo said, ‘We call on the state government to ameliorate the sufferings of Anambra people who will still seek medical treatment for a number of sicknesses and diseases.
‘In the advent of the coronavirus and the efforts to check the spread, we are aware that certain policies of the government, as well as the effects of the virus itself, will, to an extent, disrupt or affect the purchasing power of a number of our people in Anambra State.’
He contended that while it was difficult to go in search of people in communities with COVID-19 symptoms, it would be easy if free medical services were declared as it would afford people with symptoms the opportunity to seek healthcare services from where they could be found out.
Onunkwo who runs a health foundation that caters for the less privileged, Johnbosco Onunkwo Foundation, expressed the hope that after the coronavirus period, when the ban on mass gathering would have been lifted, he would reach out to as many local government areas as possible to provide healthcare services.
‘We are focusing more on the coronavirus and leaving most of our people vulnerable to several other diseases; the reason the state government needs to declare free healthcare services for the people.
‘We have been in the business of catering for a number of people, and we know this. We intend to continue to offer succour to these people as soon as the restrictions on large gatherings are lifted; covering as many LGA’s as we can before Christmas this year,’ he said.