By Dayo Adesulu
AS part of the measures by the government to improve accessibility to health care services in rural communities, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Lagos state, has collaborated with the Lagos state Ministry for Rural Development to initiate a rural health project.
The programme which was flagged-off at Ese-Ofin, Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area, had Itogbesa, Ojota, Ishagira and Egan-Oromi communities in attendance
Speaking during the inauguration of the Health Initiatives for Rural Dwellers,HIRD, programme at Ese-Ofin, NYSC Coordinator in Lagos state, Mr. Akhanemhe Cyril, while welcoming stake-holders and the people of the communities, said the scheme has deliberately set-out to maximally utilize the competence and skills of the dynamic and serving youths for national development.
According to Mr. Akhanemhe, the need to ensure the scheme increases its impact and expand its values to critical stakeholders necessitated the deployment of over 50 corps medical personnel serving in the state for the exercise. This he said will be achieved through provision of free health care services and sensitization of rural dwellers in Lagos state on health and wellness. He appreciated the commissioner for rural development for his sincere commitment and unrelenting assistance towards the realization of the health programme. While acknowledging the community leaders’ efforts in mobilizing their people for the programme,he commended the corps medical personnel for their voluntary services, stating it will contribute immensely to the efforts of the government in changing the lives of Nigerians.
The Commissioner for Rural Development in Lagos state, Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi, while speaking during the occasion, said, the importance of the programme is to allow rural dwellers know the state of their health which he said would stem high mortality rate. He therefore urged the community and all other communities to key in to the programme.
Mr. Ojelabi, while responding to some interview questions said, “Bringing a programme like this to the grassroots especially a riverine area where mobility is restricted has complimented the efforts of the government in ensuring quality health care for the people who may not be able to access health care services in a short-while and it will go a long way to enlighten the people about their health status and the need to consider it very important.”
While commending the national youth service initiative, Mr. Ojelabi described the scheme’s character as ground-breaking and resilient. He said bringing a programme of such importance to a Riverine area shows the scheme’s character in getting things done. He commended the corps medical personnel for their sacrifices in the course of serving their fatherland and urged them to continue in the service. “If we have youths like these who can be volunteering for a service like this, we can be sure that the massive drifting of people from rural to urban areas would be reasonably stemmed.” He said.
Reacting to the development, the spokesman of the communities present, Mr. Timothy Ojelabi commended the efforts of the organizers of the programme and the corps medical personnel for identifying with their health needs and finding a way to remedy it. “Many of these corps members are strangers and are not familiar with this terrain, leaving their comfort environment to embark on a journey on water is not an easy decision but they have gone against all odds to be here. I therefore urge them to continue in this path of sacrificial service which in a long time would yield good fruits.” Mr. Ojelabi stressed. At the end of the exercise, over 200 people were given medical attention; 10(Ten) persons were tested positive for malaria,3(Three) had high Random Blood Sugar(RBS),47(Forty-seven) had high BP,5(Five) cataract patients were seen and 47(Forty-seven) persons were treated for malaria, as drugs were equally prescribed and administered for free too.