By Chioma Obinna
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off a month-long free health mission for over 21,000 Lagosians with children as prime target.
The State Government in collaboration with BOSKOH Lagos Healthcare Mission International (HMI), flagged the medical intervention programme aimed at combating organ impairment and life-threatening ailments in children.
The exercise began with a six-day free health screening from August 5, 2019, in seven Primary Health Centres, PHCs, across the state including Badagry, Akerele, Surulere, Ikotun, IgaIduganran, Epe, Onigbongo, and Ita- Elewa PHCs. At the flag-off, the Governor, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said the programme tagged “Healthy Bee Project” was purposely designed to keep children fit for their study and activities that would make them attain their potential.
Sanwo-Olu said the programme is a component of his development agenda to reposition healthcare and give disadvantaged children access to quality medical care.
He encouraged parents to utilise the opportunity to take their children for screening and treatment for medical conditions that can limit their mental and physical development.
“If children lack access to good health facilities and quality medical attention, they might lose their ability and functionality. We want to help them fight ailments that can put them at a disadvantage. This is the reason the programme is essential to make sure our children live a good and fulfilling life.”
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information & Strategy, Mr Fola Adeyemi described it as a promise kept.
The Wife of the Governor Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who also spoke at the event, noted: “As a mother and medical doctor, I understand the momentous mileage we stand to gain from this strategic intervention championed by the State Government in partnership with BOSKOH Lagos Healthcare Mission International, and I must say I fully align myself with this all-important medical mission.”
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Titilayo Goncalves said the programme signalled the implementation phase of Sanwo-Olu’s healthcare initiative adding that the initiative seeks to increase access to quality health care service in line with the State’s Universal Health Coverage drive.
Executive Director of the NGO, Mrs. Nike Osai, praised the Lagos government for approving the medical intervention, stressing that it was an investment the state would not regret.
She said part of the objectives of the partnership was to enable Lagos government meet the Item three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to realise universal health coverage for children and reduce poverty.
“The Government of Lagos recognises the prime place of children in the survival of humanity. This is the reason the Sanwo-Olu government graciously offered to collaborate with Healthcare Mission International to make our children healthier.
The programme will involve screening children for visual and hearing impairments, and other ailments that can negatively impede their capacity to study.
“Those found to have visual or hearing impairments will be provided with glasses and hearing aids to help them overcome the condition. Even though children are the prime targets of this programme, vulnerable adults will also be given health counselling and screening for tuberculosis and HIV. Those found to be positive will be managed using the established channel of treatment of these illnesses.”