By Amarachi Adiele
As Nigerians celebrated the 2017 Independence Day, children in Otodo-Gbame area of Lagos were not left out as they were treated for various ailments free of charge.
These future leaders who came from different areas of Lagos went away with various gift items.
Organisers of the programme, Ask The Paediatricians Foundation, ATP, and Linking Hands Foundation, LHF, it was a fulfilling day watching the less privileged benefit from the outreach.
Several of them had their buildings demolished and were displaced in different parts of the state few years ago.
“It was all about bringing succour to a community in dire need of medical attention.”
The young and old received requisite drugs to treat identified health problems.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to Good Health Weekly expressed gratitude to the organisers. The joy of a mother of one, Doris Zuba, who attended with three of her children, could not be hidden as she expressed her feelings to anyone who cares to listen.
Speaking to Good Health Weekly, she said: “I am so excited, my children were treated for malaria and they got all the giveaway items. “I’m happy to be here. I saw what I didn’t expect. I received clothes, food, drinks above all, the doctor checked us and my children were treated of malaria. We pray that God blesses the organizers.”
For two little kids, Matthew Ezeh and Ekele Peter, eight and nine years respectively, it was a blessing. They told Good Health Weekly, how they were given medicines and examined for their illnesses. “We got food and drinks, biscuits, clothes, story books, cap and fruits.”
Speaking, Founder of LHF and co-organizer of the outreach with ATP, Mrs. Efe Farinre said the programme was designed to ensure every Nigerian child counts.
“That’s what we believe in LHF. ATP&LHF have a shared vision that all Nigerian children are alive and well so that they can live their full potentials.”
On the choice of the community, she said her Foundation has been working in Otodo-Gbame since 2016: “We’ve done different charity works. Unfortunately their buildings were demolished and they were displaced in different parts and in early 2015 there was a health outbreak where some of the children died because it is one of the communities where children hardly go to hospitals.
“I made a commitment that as many Nigerian children that LHF can reach, we will get them because early detection matters. God forbid if any of these children has something brewing in their bodies. By coming here today and seeing doctors, that child would be picked up,” she assured.
Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Gbemisola Boyede, from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, who is the Founder ATP, said her Foundation is focusing on health education online via the social media, adding that their goal was to bring quality health to less privileged children to mark the Independent Day.
“Usually we do our community outreach on the 1st of October but this year’s own fell on Sunday and that will be quite challenging for us and that’s why we are doing it on a Saturday. We also do outreaches on every May 27th, Children’s Day.”
High points of the programme were the health talk on how to maintain good health, immunisation, counselling and free dental checks, deworming among others. Food and drinks, gift items were also given to every child that participated in the programme.