OVER a thousand villagers from Lupane’s Ndwane area and surrounding areas benefited from a free medical outreach programme organised by Abundant Life Revival Mission International Church in partnership with health service providers from Bulawayo.
The one-day medical outreach was held at Ndwane Primary School on Saturday.
12 doctors who include dentists, opticians, ophthalmologists, general practitioners and other health providers made up the team that donated their time and expertise to attend to people with various ailments.
Abundant Life Revival Mission International Church founder and pastor, Prophet Itai Ukama said the free medical outreach was a necessity as healthcare has become limited for the majority of people as they cannot afford the high costs of medical care.
“The purpose of the medical outreach was to reach out to people that don’t have access to specialised medical attention, people in the remotest parts of our country with special emphasis in areas where the church operates in Matabeleland and the Midlands. So this Saturday we were in Matabeleland North in Lupane’s Ndwane area. The thrust of the whole thing was to bring a complete medical package to the rural areas so we had all doctors, opticians, dentists, and so forth. We set up a mini surgery there,” he said.
Prophet Ukama described the programme as successful and singled out a number of well-wishers who chipped in with contributions.
He said: “We have been doing it for seven years and the programme has been growing exponentially. This year we assisted over a thousand people, in fact we ended up failing to service all the people who turned up because of time. Free medical assistance for the poor and vulnerable is a vision that we have.
“I want to appreciate all the doctors who went with us, the specialists and general practitioners. We had five specialists and seven general practitioners. We are also grateful for the contributions we got from our partners, who include the church and church members. Special thanks goes to Greenwood Pharmacy, PCD Pharmaceuticals Wholesalers and New Avakash International who helped us with lots of medication.”
Prophet Ukama said the medical outreach was in line with the church’s vision and part of its social responsibility.
“Jesus says in the book of Matthew chapter 25; ‘And he shall say to those who are on his right hand, you saw me naked and you clothed me, you saw me in prison and you visited me and you saw me sick and you visited me. And they shall say to him where did we see you naked and dressed you, where did we see you in prison and visited you and when did we see you sick and we visited you? And he shall say as much as you have done it to these young ones you have also done it for me’.
“So we are going there under that thrust because visiting the sick that cannot afford medical care is on its own a full time ministry that Christ has prescribed. And it is also buttressed by the fact that in his ministry Jesus Christ had a medical doctor who scrutinized every miracle and that is Doctor Luke. If you read the book of Luke you will realise that Luke was analysing every miracle with a medical eye and that medical examination proved that truly a medical miracle happened.”
The firebrand preacher urged other churches to hold free medical outreach programmes as a way of assisting government to provide healthcare to the nation.
“We are appealing to partners and people, particularly at this time when the government is struggling to provide medical care to the citizens. The church has to step up and do something to assist the government to make sure that lives are preserved rather than fold our hands and watch as people suffer. I am encouraging all churches with the means and resources and the vision as well, to step out to communities close to them and offer medical help.
“It just takes proper leadership from the pastorate to say let us do this and definitely the results will be outstanding. Our thrust as Abundant Life is to cover the whole of Matabeleland and Midlands, this is our seventh year and now we dealing with thousands. We usually partner the local district hospitals so that they reach out to people in remote areas,” he said.