The International College of Surgeons (ICS) has conducted over 150 free surgeries in three hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to enhance access to quality healthcare services at the grassroots.
Professor Titus Ibekwe, zonal coordinator, Abuja branch of the organisation said this in an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of ICS Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, recently in Abuja.
The theme of the conference is “Global COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Safe Surgical Services, Training and Research’’.
The Conference also has sub themes: “Creating and Sustaining equal opportunities locally in providing high end surgical services, Challenges of developing and sustenance of surgical sub specialties in Nigeria”.
Ibekwe, who is also chairman, Local Organising Committee of the conference, said the gesture was part of its cooperate social responsibilities
He said the surgeries which included obstetrics and gynaecology, urological, endoscopic/laser, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), eye among others were carried out in Maitama, Asokoroand Nyanya Genaral Hospitals.
The chairman who identified ICS as a humanitarian organisation whose motto, is “giving back to the society,” said members donated their talents freely to help mankind, especially the less privilege in the society.
According to him, the exercise is to bring health to the doorsteps of the masses who could not afford healthcare services due to economic hardship
“We started this programme with medical outreach and we are able to successfully execute over 150 surgeries.
“We adopted a model whereby beneficiaries were drawn from hinterlands for security reasons and brought to the city centre,” he stated.
ICS , he explained ,was able to actualise this through the dedication of the outreach committee members led by Professor Regina Morgan ,supported by Dr Evaristus Azodo had overwhelming support of the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, while administration and partners served as bedrock
He added that the exercise was a way of supporting the government and the populace, especially the less privilege who could not afford any of these services because a good number of this surgeries could only be accessed outside the country by the rich.
The chairman pledged the commitment of the college towards uplifting the country’s health sector through reduction in the disease burden.
Ibekwe, who decried high disease burden of the country as well as other developing countries, said through sustained free medical outreaches and surgeries ICS would reduce the disease burden and scale up health indices.
On the conference theme, Dr Maurice Ezeoke, president, ICS Nigerian Section, described the theme as apt in view of the disruption to surgical services experienced globally in the past few years.
He said the organisation’s mission was to foster world-wide surgical excellence through education, training, fellowship and humanitarian effects.
According to him, its vision is to improve the lives of patients through the development and education of members and advancement of the medical field.
“The mission of ICS founding fathers was to establish a college that would bring surgeons of all nations, specialities and peoples together. This is to build a force for international cooperation, understanding, good will and peaceful development of the art and science of surgery, Its vision is to improve the lives of patients through the development and education of members and advancement of medical field,” Ezeoke said..
The presidentstressed that “ICS was out to give their talentxand everything they have to salvage the society, hence the collaboration with the FCT minister to give succor to the very poor in the society.
The ICS, is a global organisation founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1935 by Dr Max Thorex with headquarters in Chicago.
High point of the conference was the foundation laying ceremony of ICS Secretariat in Abuja.