At Ta­mam lab, the less priv­i­leged get free ser­vices

Daily Trust - - UNSUNG HEROES - From She­huAbubakar, Maiduguri

Ab­dul­salamAbubakar is a 65 year old Lab­o­ra­tory Sci­en­tist and a farmer who set up the first pri­vate lab­o­ra­tory in Borno State which he is now us­ing to run char­ity ser­vices. state gov­ern­ment as a Lab­o­ra­tory Sci­en­tist. they used the op­por­tu­nity to train 15 med­i­cal

Not long af­ter he started work, he joined lab­o­ra­tory ex­perts from the state that were the Dikwa De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, a lack­ing be­fore. so­cio-cul­tural as­so­ci­a­tion meant for the “They were fresh grad­u­ates and we sent de­vel­op­ment of Dikwa Emi­rate where he them for cour­ses; we reg­is­tered them as hails from, adding, “Soon I re­al­ized that qual­i­fied med­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory sci­en­tists un­til the as­so­ci­a­tion was a good plat­form for we were sure that the hos­pi­tal had enough me to pay back to the com­mu­nity the good man­power. Dur­ing that process, know­ing ges­ture done to me. But my prob­lem then full well that I had no pen­sion or gra­tu­ity was, that the sev­eral ad­vo­cacy vis­its, public since I re­tired pre­ma­turely, I de­cided to go sen­si­ti­za­tion and sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties of the into farm­ing. I have about 2,500 or­chards as­so­ci­a­tion re­quired a lot of time. now.

“On the other hand, my at­ten­tion was “Part of my ser­vices to my com­mu­nity al­ways re­quired in the hos­pi­tal, some­times was when I was made the Sec­re­tary of the even af­ter I had closed from work, I will still be com­mit­tee charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity re­called to come and carry out some tests on a pa­tient. I had no time for the as­so­ci­a­tion. I then de­cided to re­tire from the ser­vices of the state gov­ern­ment and con­cen­trate on char­ity work through the as­so­ci­a­tion.

“That was when I es­tab­lished Nur Med­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory which was the first pri­vate lab­o­ra­tory in the state. We have been do­ing very well. We were among the last five re­cip­i­ents of Borno Merit Award chaired by for­mer Gover­nor Muham­madu Goni,” he said.

He said fol­low­ing strike ac­tions and work go­ing on at the Univer­sity of Maiduguri Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal then, the man­age­ment of the hos­pi­tal en­gaged his lab­o­ra­tory as part­ners in de­vel­op­ing the hos­pi­tal’s lab­o­ra­tory where he said

When Ab­dul­salam Abubakar started his pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion at Ju­nior Pri­mary School, Bama be­fore pro­ceed­ing to Se­nior Pri­mary School in the same city, and later got ad­mis­sion to Gov­ern­ment Sec­ondary School, Ganye in present day Adamawa State be­fore he was trans­ferred to Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Col­lege (FGC), Sokoto, where he ob­tained his HSC (Higher School Cer­tifi­cate) be­fore go­ing to ABU Zaria to study his Lab­o­ra­tory Science, his big­gest sur­prise was that his par­ents did not pay any­thing for his ed­u­ca­tion.

Ab­dul­salam said rather it was gov­ern­ment that was trans­port­ing him to school and back, feed­ing him, ac­com­mo­dat­ing him while in school, pro­vid­ing him with books, uni­form and even pay­ing him pocket money all from public funds, adding, “That was a ges­ture too much to over­look. Since then I have been look­ing for how to re­pay my com­mu­nity and the coun­try at large.”

He said when he was a stu­dent of Gov­ern­ment Sec­ondary School Ganye in 1966, the Premier of North­ern re­gion and Sar­dauna of Sokoto vis­ited the school and went to his class and asked him to lo­cate Sokoto on a Nige­rian map hang­ing at the cor­ner of his class.

“Un­for­tu­nately for me, I pointed to Kano on the map and the Sar­dauna said, ‘Kai Dan Babar­bare, you will be trans­ferred to Sokoto to know where it is. Not too long, the Sar­dauna was killed. I thought ev­ery­thing was over. But two years later, in 1968, I was trans­ferred to Sokoto where I got my HSC on that or­der of the Sar­dauna. It was amaz­ing,” he said.

That in­ci­dent made Ab­dul­salam Abubakar to de­velop more in­ter­est in the civil ser­vice and so, when he grad­u­ated from ABU Zaria in 1976, he re­turned back to Borno State where he took up ap­point­ment with the of build­ing Juma’at mosques at Dikwa and Gu­lumba. We con­structed the big mosque in Dikwa with only N17,600. It was com­mis­sioned by the late Shehu of Borno, Al­haji Mustafa Umar El-Kanemi. I was also the Sec­re­tary of the move­ment for the cre­ation of Dikwa State.

“I was also the Sec­re­tary of the com­mit­tee for the for­ma­tion of com­mu­nity banks in Dikwa. We were able to es­tab­lish three com­mu­nity banks; one each in Bama, Dikwa and Ngala. These com­mu­nity banks took off suc­cess­fully and were pro­gress­ing un­til the cap­i­tal base of com­mu­nity banks were raised. The var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties could not af­ford to meet up with the min­i­mum cap­i­tal re­quire­ment and so the banks folded up,” he said.

Dur­ing the 1999 tran­si­tion to civil rule, Ab­dul­salam Abubakar was ap­pointed as As­sis­tant Care­taker Com­mit­tee Chair­man for Bama lo­cal gov­ern­ment that handed over to an elected coun­cil. He is now run­ning his pri­vate lab­o­ra­tory, Ta­mam Med­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory where most of the ser­vices there are ren­dered on char­ity.

“I have al­ready es­tab­lished my farm from where I am mak­ing money for the up­keep of my fam­ily. Ev­ery­thing we are do­ing here is just to help the less priv­i­leged and my peo­ple. We at­tend to sickle cell pa­tients’ right from screen­ing to check­ing their blood lev­els free. We also at­tend to peo­ple will­ing to check their blood pres­sure free, urine and ante-natal for preg­nant women. There are some or­ga­ni­za­tions that are help­ing us with re­gents and pa­pers.

“We are also vis­it­ing all the In­ter­nally Dis­placed Per­sons (IDP) camps in the state where we run free malaria and other tests. Any­one we find pos­i­tive is treated free by UNICEF. Though NEMA and other donors are pro­vid­ing the IDPs with mos­quito nets, the ef­fect of mosquitoes on the peo­ple at the camps is much,” he said.

A lab­o­ra­tory staff at the Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Maiduguri told this re­porter that ma­jor­ity of the pa­tients re­ferred to the lab­o­ra­tory in the hos­pi­tal for test that at­tracts pay­ment opt to go to Ta­mam lab­o­ra­tory where they are at­tended to free and re­turn with ac­cu­rate re­sults.

Fa­tima Goni, a mother of two, said Ta­mam lab­o­ra­tory ren­ders free ser­vices to pa­tients and even sup­port them with trans­port money if they com­plain that they do not have money to trans­port them­selves back home, say­ing, “Most women and chil­dren go there for tests.”

Ab­dul­salam Abubakar at­tends to a pa­tient

Ab­dul­salam Abubakar works in­side his lab

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