By Henrietta Ashikodi, Umuahia
The Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Correspondents Chapel Abia State has commended Madonna Catholic Hospital, Umuahia and Back to Heros Past Charity Organization for giving free eye examination and dispensing of free reading glasses to journalists and indigents members of the public.
The free medical care was part of the activities lined up for the celebration of the Correspondents Chapel 2019 press week, which held at NUJ press centre, Umuahia.
Madonna Catholic hospital in collaboration with the NGO known as Back to the Heros Past Charity Organization rendered the free eye services to journalists and others as part of their humanitarian works and love for mankind.
Speaking at the event the Administrator of Madonna Catholic Hospital and the founder Back to the Hero’s Past Charity Organization, Rev. Father Christian Anokwuru, said the daily activities of journalists was a tedious one and their eye is one of their major tools which needed to be properly checked and maintained.
He said in his quest to impact on the lives of journalists who are his friends that he decided to use the celebration of the press week to give free eye examination and dispensing of free reading glasses.
According to Father Anokwuru, “our free medical treatment to journalists and members of the public is in consonance with our mandate, which is identifying with the poor and needy. I am only carrying out the mandate as a priest and administrator of Madonna Catholic hospital”, adding that his NGO shares the same sentiments.
In his response the Chairman of Abia Correspondents Chapel, Chief Obinna Ibe, thanked Rev father Anokwuru for rendering free eye treatment to journalists and other members of the public.
The Chairman also commended the 2019 press week for incorporating medical outreach, saying that this is the first of its kind in the history of journalism practice in the state.
On her part the secretary of the 2019 press week committee, Henrietta Ashikodi of The Statesman Newspaper, applauded Father Anokwuru for identifying with journalists, and for his rare show of love to the members of the Fourth Estate of the realm and the society in general.
Some of the journalists who benefited from the programme, Mr Emmanuel Ugwu of Thisday Newspapers and Mrs Gloria Abiakam of Federal Information, said the gesture was unprecedented and the first of its kind in their practice of journalism in the state.
They stressed that the eye check was timely and necessary as journalists most often do not have the time to take care of their eyes, due to the nature of their job. They observed that with the advent of internet and due to constant use of computer, journalists are bound to have issues with their eyes.
Another beneficiary, a primary school teacher in one of the public schools in the state, Mrs Olachi Udumaga and Mrs Theresa who is a house wife, said when they heard of the free eye examination and free reading glasses on radio they decided to take advantage of the opportunity.