By Olasunkami Akani & Chioma Obinna
THELagos State government, weekend, said 1,028,455 people benefitted fromÂ its various free health services in the last one year.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who spoke in Lagos at a ministerial press briefing commemorating the third anniversary of the state government, said governmentâ€™s performance in this regard had always been guided by the goal that every Lagosian should enjoy unfettered access to qualitative healthcare without any geographical, financial, cultural or political barriers.
He listed the free health services to include medical missions, free mini missions, state-wide hypertension and diabetes screening and awareness exercise, prostate cancer screening and awareness exercise, cervical cancer screening and awareness programme, breast cancer screening and awareness programme, and the free health scheme which is hinged on the stateâ€™s free health policy.
Others, according to the commissioner, included HIV/AIDS control programme, the roll back malaria programme, tuberculosis control programme, influenza H1N1 control programme, blindness prevention programme, immunisation programmes, school health screening, nutrition programme, ambulance services and emergency care, limb deformity corrective surgery, cleft lip and palate reconstructive surgery programme, reproductive health programmes, rural health programme and ambulance boat services.
A breakdown of the statistics of beneficiaries of the free health services showed that 55,711 people were seen at the two medical missions held at Ajeromi and Eti-Osa local government areas respectively while 965 ophthalmic surgeries were performed during this outreach programmes just as 81,013 patients from 41 local government areas and local council development areas benefitted from the mini health missions within the last one year.
â€œDuring the third year of this administration being reported on, two rounds of the free state-wide hypertension and diabetes screening and awareness programme were held with no fewer than 162,600 being screened of which 19,978 which represent 24.9 percent were referred for further management,â€ Idris said.
He said 9,289 people benefitted from the various free cancer screening and awareness programmes of breast, cervical and prostate cancers of which 313 people were referred for further management.
Assuring Lagosians that the government would still remain focussed on providing quality but affordable health care in the state, he said: â€œThe stateâ€™s free health policy, predicated on the need to provide some form of security in terms of financial access for the indigent and vulnerable persons, was sustained by this administration to offer succor and hope.â€