After some months in the hospital where they were held by the management for their inability to pay their bills after giving births, succour has finally come the way of women of Ezza North/Ishielu, federal constituency, Ebonyi State through their representative, Hon. Anayo Edwin Nwonu. UCHENNA INYA reports
About 15 of the women, who gave birth at Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki 1(FETHA 1), now Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital (AE-UNTH) would have still been at the hospital where they were held by the hospital management following their inability to pay their medical bills after their discharge.
The women have stayed between two months and six months after given birth without their hospital bills cleared by either their husbands, family members, relatives or friends. They were taken away from their hospital beds to a ward known as Awaiting Bill Settlement (ABS) where they allegedly slept on bare floor without proper care.
To them, it was like they were in prison in the ward. According to them, there were no much facilities that make life meaningful in that ward.
They women resorted to prayers, seeking the face of God on their pitiful conditions in the hospital. On Wednesday, after their prayer session, Hon. Nwonu sent his brother and one of his aides to visit the hospital and compile the names of patients and their hospital bills and bring to him.
Mrs. Chinyere Aleke from Okposi Umuoghara, Ezza North local government led the prayer session on that Wednesday. She said, “I am very happy today because we have been set free by our representative at the National Assembly. The hospital discharged us but held us and insisted we must pay all bills before they allow us to go home. We examined our condition here in the hospital and discovered that it is getting worse; hence, we went into serious prayers asking God to come to our rescue. On that Wednesday, I led the prayer session and I told them that it is not only our Governor and
Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Religion and Welfare that we have who always assist the needy. We also have some other public spirited individuals that can assist us and we must pray God to touch their hearts to come and rescue us.
She narrated further that, “at about 4:Pm on that day, Hon Anayo Edwin Nwonu sent his brother and one of his aides to come and ascertain patients from Ezza North/Ishielu federal constituency. They compiled our names and left.
Today, he has visited us himself to clear our bills and we are grateful to him and pray God to replenish him. I have stayed in this hospital for two months and my bill is N150, 000.
She explained that the hospital management chased them out of the hospital bed and took them to ABS where they stayed without for weeks without light and other amenities because of their inability to pay their hospital bills. “We slept on bare floor with our belongings,” she said.
On her part, Mrs. Nwosu Princess who hails from Ikwuato Idembia Ezzasouth local government area of the state said “we have been discharged since by the hospital management but we cannot afford our hospital bills. We were removed from our hospital beds because we cannot pay the bills and the hospital management said we must pay the bills before they will release us. We sleep on bare floors, we have suffered in the hospital.
While addressing the patients at the hospital before handing over the sum of N1,583, 000(one million five hundred and eight three thousand naira) to the hospital management as total bill of the 15 indigent patients, Hon. Nwonu said he was touched by the conditions of the women at the hospital.
He noted that he cannot be happy celebrating Easter while his constituents were languishing in the ABS ward. Nwonu said “I said let me visit you people to share the joy of Easter celebration with you people who are my constituents who have been discharged but cannot afford their medical bills. We cannot leave everything to our Governor to attend and that is why we said let us you also voted into power compliment his efforts by helping you the much we can.
Nwonu said further that he did this type of charity last year when he flagged it off as an annual ceremony activity. “I don’t know how I will go home, buy foods, drinks and celebrate without you people being happy. This to me is not good and I have decided to come and celebrate with you. So, your happiness is same as mine and I am fulfilled that you are going home to celebrate the Easter after my visit.
The beneficiaries are; Chukwuma Peace N98, 520, Aleke Chinyere N150,000, Nwosu Princess N170,380, Orji Salome N58,040, Ugochukwu Rachel N156, 730, Onyeazi Onyekachi N107,490, Uche Nneka N95,910, Eze Udochukwu N119,280, Okwor Annastecia N135, 040, Izzi Chineme N168,660, Elom Miracle N26,650, Ogodo Maria N90,590, Nweke Grace N64,370, Igwe Ugochukwu 97,905, Adaeze Ugoeze N43,690. Total of everything is N1,583, 000(one million five hundred and eight three naira). We will clear all of them so that you can regain your freedom and go home and celebrate Easter with your people. “I know that you people have stayed long in this hospital and money for transportation and feeding will be an issue. So on that note, we are giving N5,000 each to all of you,” he promised.
The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital (CMD), Dr. Emeka Ogah commended the lawmaker for the gesture and called on public spirited individuals to emulate him. He disclosed that the hospital has rendered selfless services to indigent patients. “It is a very good thing, whatever thing you need to do to touch the lives of your people, I think that is the greatest thing God like and want us to do which is what the lawmaker has done. You can see the jubilation among the patients, it is so marvelous. It pains a woman to come out of labour having the child and sleeping outside the comfort of her home.”
He added that, “the best we do for the patients rather than sending them home because they do not have money, we must give them treatment to save their lives first. It is when they are alive that we talk of who will come and pay but if you push them out to go and die because they don’t have money for treatment, I think it is the greatest undoing, it is heartless and that is what we try to encourage.
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