…as they give free medicals in Lagos
…mother of sickle celled twin gets succour after 8 years
By Ebun Sessou
Having twins is definitely a double dose of joy, fun, blessing and delight. But for Mrs Anjorin Labake, 35 years old, it has been tough and challenging.
Aside the hardest moments encountered from pregnancy all the way through the time she gave birth to her twins, the status of one of her twin children who was said to be a Sickle Cell patient has caused her more pain than joy.
Anjorin lost her husband as well as her job in the process of taking care of her son’s health and seeking solution to her son’s ailment.
Today, she was among 800 women customers of the Ikeja Electric who benefited from the free medical outreach last week as part of efforts to combat health challenges in the country.
Speaking with WO, Anjorin, a widow and a mother of three said she lost her husband eight years ago, leaving the three children in her care. Amongst the three children was Kehinde, her Sickle Cell son.
According to Anjorin, taking care of Kehinde has been challenging. Due to her enormous efforts at ensuing Kehinde survives as well as having the best of life, Anjorin has continuously paid visits to different hospitals and health care centres.
She was still ruminating on her next movement on her son’s health when news of the Ikeja Electric’s Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR programme got to her.
The event, themed, “Health is Wealth”, organised to take care of the less privileged was a-4-day free medical check up and treatment which was the second edition. It took place in four different locations including Oshodi, Ikorodu, Akowonjo and Abule Egba, between Monday 15 and Thursday 18 October, 2018.
Lamenting her ordeal, Anjorin said, “ I am passing through financial challenges because of the boy.
“I lost my job because I had to take care of my son. I have spent all my money on him. My husband died 8 years ago. It has been challenging. They are twins. Kehinde is SS and Taiwo is AA. The sickness affected the education of Kehinde and that is why he is lagging behind in his education. He is in primary 3 while Taiwo is in JSS 1. We spend all our time in the hospital.
“Government at all levels are not helping the less privileged when it comes to health challenges and it is pathetic. There is no free test or drugs for sickle cell patients.
“At LUTH which is a federal medical institution, the drugs are expensive as well as the treatment. Asked if the family members assist her in anyway, she said, “My family members are doing their best but the country itself is tensed. Everybody is faced with one challenge or the other. I am very happy to be at the programme”, she said.
Speaking with Anjorin on the medical check up and treatment, she told WW, that, she was invited by her brother who is also one of the customers of Ikeja Electric to attend the programme.
“My brother told me about the free medical check up. So, I came with my son who is a sickle cell patient, he has been going through pains so I decided to bring him.
On how she gets drugs for her son, she said, “Before, now, getting drugs has been difficult because they are expensive”.
Being enthusiastic, Kehinde said, he would like to become a medical doctor so as to take care of patients.
“I will like to be a doctor when I grow up so that I can address issues that pertain to health”, he said.
Another beneficiary of the free medical check up was, Miss Mary Joseph, a 36 years old woman. She said, “I received a message through the CDA forum that there was going to be free medical check up in Ikorodu for all Ikeja Electric customers, so I decided to come for general medical check up since it was free”, she stated.
Speaking with the Ikeja Electric on the programme, the Brand and Event Supervisor, Ikeja Electric, Mrs. Akintola Adebimpe said, IE as one of the leading DISCOs in Nigeria is saddled with the responsibility of not only disconnection or collection of bills but to tell all IE customers that we care for their health.
According to her, “The CSR is more than what people think, our CSR is called P-CSR, Personal Corporate Social Responsibilities, and the reason for the programme was to give back to the society.
“We are not after disconnection or collection of bills alone. Ikeja Electric does not stop at restoring electricity. It is to tell the society that we care about their health.
“This is not the first time. We started this project last year and we have attended to more than 200 customers in each location. Aside this, we have visited different places including rehabilitation centres, orphanage homes. We have given out mosquito nets, just to give back to the society”, she noted.
Speaking on the level of patients the doctors attended to, she said, “Patients with hypertension, diabetic, high blood sugar, malaria as well as communicable diseases among others were attended to.
“Ikeja Electric is not only on medical. We have our four pillars of CSR including medical outreach, environment, youth empowerment, education, children upbringing. We are hoping that the programme will get better every year. It is a continuous plan and we hope by next year, we will be able to attend to 500 people per location”, she said.
Corroborating, Network Operation Manager, Ikorodu Business Unit, Mr. Bello Ismaila, said, “This programme started last year. And the feedback we got spurred us to continue the project. The reaction from customers have been wonderful”, he said.
On how they reached out to customers, he said, “There was announcement and on the social media. We sent SMS to our customers to inform them about the programme. We have pasted memo in all our business units in Ikorodu. We also use the CDA group whatsapp as well as the CDC.
“The target was to have about 200 customers undergo medical check up at the different locations that the CSR was carried out.
“The drugs were purchased from the United States, the medical experts were the US mission volunteers. We partnered with the US medical mission group”, he added.
Also, Mr. Kayode Adeoti, Managing Director, XT-Monitor limited, the service provider and partners with Ikeja Electric on this project, said, “The project is a CSR demonstrated by Ikeja Electric to show customers that the company is concerned about the welfare of the customers. It is not all about providing electricity.
“As a follow up to what happened last year, we have demonstrated an opportunity that Ikeja cares about the customers. “Last year, the theme was ‘we care about you’. This year, the theme was ‘health is wealth’.
On the partnership, he said, “ We work as service providers, we work on the field with customers and on a daily basis, we have interface with customers with the range of 1000 to 2000 on a daily basis. In the course of our investigations, we discovered that there is apathy between the customers and the electricity company, so, we felt that it will be important and of great influence if Ikeja Electric can prove to customers that it likes, respects and values and care about their health.
“So, we invited some partners from the United States. They are volunteer doctors on the wing of the US medical group.
“People with Hypertension, diabetes, malaria among others were attended to. Some of the doctors are Nigerians who have been working and living abroad for over 30 years. This medical outreach is extended to the hinterlands, customers get medications where it is necessary and those without health challenges get their vitamins.
“The medications are free. The US medical mission partners with different pharmaceutical companies thereby making all the medications absolutely free.