This Nigerian Doctor Performs Free Surgeries For Patients Who Cannot Afford To Pay For It

Written by on October 8, 2019

Illnesses are no fun for anyone but imagine being seriously ill with a serious condition that requires not just visits to the hospital, but surgery. Now imagine being too poor to afford the visits and the treatment necessary to get better.

This is where “The Street Doctor” comes in. Dr Samson Shonowo of Shonowo hospital is popularly called ‘The Street Doctor’ because he’s made it his mission to care for the sick in local communities who otherwise would not be afford to pay their bills.

The 37 year old started his career as a young medical officer at General Hospital in Agege Lagos; where he found himself in constant turmoil, having to attend to several patients who cannot afford to pay for their healthcare.

“Every time I had to break the news to a patient or their loved ones that they would be needing surgery and I see their shoulders sag in despair and hopelessness, my heart broke. These are people that can barely afford money to pay for hospital registration cards or recommended lab tests. I decided to do something about it,” He said.

What Dr Shonowo did, was open his own hospital about 4 years ago and take on as many charity cases as he possibly could.

Shonowo hospital building in Agege

From free maternal healthcare to caesarian sections, breast lump removals, fibroid removals, hernia repairs and other procedures, Dr Shonowo opened his doors to whoever needed help.

“It’s not easy, I have to tell you.” He says. “It’s hard running a hospital where over 60 percent of your patients cannot afford their care. Bills need to be paid, staff needs to be taken care off and medication needs to be supplied, yet we do it all without external funding or grants”.

“Standard healthcare is not negotiable. It’s a right that everyone deserves to have and I believe that as a private healthcare practitioner, it is my duty to humanity to do my part.”

Patients waiting to be attended to at Shonowo Free surgery program

On government’s responsibility, Dr Shonowo says the Nigerian government must pay better attention to Primary Healthcare.

“When the primary health care system does well, it meets people’s health needs, and that is essential if we are to make progress toward the country’s health goals. Primary Health Care should be free for everyone to access. It will help with preventive medicine and it will handle most people’s health needs before it becomes a major problem.” He Said.

Dr Samson Shonowo is making good on his commitment by opening up the Shonowo Free Surgery program again. This November, 100 hernia patients will be screened and treated for free.

Intending patients are encouraged to register and book appointments via the hospital website;

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