By Chioma Obinna
Irked by the less than impressive state of healthcare in the country, Methodist Old Girls Association and the Arise Women Medical Outreach have called on the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari to ensure that all Nigerians have access to quality healthcare. The Federal government, under Buhari was urged to guarantee a better healthcare by reappraising the health sector and addressing the gaps.
Towards instilling good welbeing as lifestyle among young Nigerian girls, the groups have taken free health screening to over 1000 students, teachers and staff of Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos. In a chat during the free health screening, Convener, Arise Women, Mrs. Siju Iluyomade regretted that most average Nigerians have no access to any type of medical care.
“Government should ensure that every Nigeria has access to medical care not necessarily a big hospital but a smaller clinic in every community or local government. “We can have more outpatient clinics which would address almost everything before referral to specialised hospitals for further treatment apparently for serious cases. The care should also be paid by the government.”
Further, she said the outreach was collaborating with the Methodist Old Girls Association to teach the young girls on how to take care of themselves through to old age. “Arise Women, is a charitable organisation that helps the less privileged and most importantly create awareness on women’s health as well as ensure that women’s health takes its rightful place in the medical field.
“We teach girls how to look after themselves from early age, thereby cultivating the habit of preventive healthcare and not curative healthcare. “We found that preventive healthcare is cheaper in the long run than the curative. Above all, it gives a longer life span. If you take care of yourself well you are more likely to live longer. We are here to teach the younger girls on how to take care of themselves from now to middle age and old age.”
An array of doctors, nurses and pharmacists targeted no less than 1,000 students, teachers and staff of the school with free health screening for various illnesses. President of the Old Girls Association, 1974/1979 students of the MGHS, Mrs. Anne Olorun-Rinu, who acknowledged that the country’s health sector has its good sides but does not cut across said the health sector in the country has deteriorated and required urgent revitalisation.
She stressed the need for the new government to give the sector a lot of focus and direction adding that without health there would not be life. “We don’t need to re-invent the wheel, but to understand where the gaps are. We need to reappraise where we are now, then begin to have a road map or a plan of action, some basic things like provision of quality medications, equipping hospitals, ensuring ongoing programmes on training and retraining of medical staff to ensure that they are up to date and can compete with others anywhere in the world.”
She said the old girls decided to provide the free health screening as part of giving back to the school and also to inculcate into the students health well being as a lifestyle, “for it to become a lifestyle it needs to start when they are young.”