By Sola Ogundipe
IT was a big relief for residents of Makoko, a slum settlement on Lagos mainland, last week as no less than 2,000 persons benefitted from a free medical intervention mission organised by the National Association of Seadogs, NAS.
As early as 7am, hundreds of the residents of various ages, queued up to obtain free general medical, dental and surgical consultation, diabetes and HIV/AIDS counselling, medication for Upper Respiratory Tract infections, checking of blood sugar, HIV counselling, malaria, worm infestation among others.
Some received free reading glasses, plus medication. among other health education assessments from a host of medical personnel many of who flew in from Europe and the US as a selfless service that typifies the NAS which is wholly funded by contributions from members..
National President, NAS, Prince Ifeanyi Onochie, said the Medical Mission is part of why NAS exists.
“This is part of who we are and what we do. We identify gaps in society and take deicisions and action to fill those gaps. This is a medical intervention, all being done for free, because our members contributed funds to make it possible. We do it quarterly in a particular comminuty where we have presence benefits. We do all the counselling all done in alliance with internatiuonal and best practices, reading glasses given out free, we go around to ensure proper evaluation before the prescription is given,
We keep doing what we are doing and hope that others will emulate to have a society that is welkl catered for. When we move to say we are catering for a just society, it also involves the health of the people.
Head of the Medical Mission, Dr Ofem Enang, a consultant physician told Health & Living that the project generally offers medical and surgical consultation, dental, ophthalmic consultation of services, screening for basic non-communicable disorders such as diabetes as well as screenuing and counselling for HIV.
“We have chosen Makoko because it is underserved, and the people there need access. What we are doing is to compliment government effort and it is just a stop gap, but we need support for this too.
Noting that the intervention is not a one-off, Enang said the intervention is comprehensive “We have a responsibility. It is an intervention programme. Apart from the counselling and responsibility, the Mission is concerned with health promotion, education and consultation. “People are put through a counsellor after which they are referred to a public health facility where those with surgical issues are directed appropriately.”