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World Health Day: NAS takes free medical care to Abuja community

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By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

As part of its activities to mark the 2021 World Health Day, the National Association of Seadogs, NAS, on Saturday rendered free medical services to the Ushafa community in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Although World Health Day was celebrated on April 8, NAS said it decided to carry out the medical outreach on Saturday so that people will have time to partake in the exercise.

Speaking at the occasion, President of Zuma Deck, Abuja, Anderson Kolawole Oseh said that the association discovered that a good number of people from the community needed medical attention but could not get any because of financial constraints.

He said most residents of the rural communities hardly find drugs or even medical personnel in its primary health centre, hence the association decided to bring the medical service to them to look at cases like malaria and other common ailments that could be handled at the centre.

According to him, “We are members of the National Association of Seadogs also known as Pyrates Confraternity, Abuja 1 Chapter called Zuma Deck. We are here on a medical mission to the Ushafa community.

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“It is part of the activities to mark the 2021 World Health Day which actually held on the 8th of April but we decided to do ours on a Saturday so that we could be able to meet people at home so that they will be able to come out and get medical care.

“We know that communities like this one here, you will hardly find drugs or even medical personnel in its primary health centre, but we are here with drugs and physicians to look at cases like malaria and other common ailments that we can be able to handle here.

“But in case there are others that cannot be handled here with the facilities we came with, there can be referrals so that they can be handled later.

“But basically being a humanitarian organization this aspect we are doing is to show the human side of us, reaching out to people who can not afford drugs and medical care.

“And again as an advocacy group, we are using this opportunity to appeal to the government that there is the need for much funds to be invested in the health sector because of this huge gap that we are experiencing right now so that the ordinary people can be able to have access to a good health care facility.”

He said that the association gives out free mosquito nets to the people, adding,” if doctors discover any serious health challenges bigger than what should be handled here, referrals are given.”

Also speaking, the head of the Zuma Deck medical team, Dr Iyke Osinachi said that the association’s findings revealed that some rural dwellers do not have access to medical care and that made the Deck take the free medical service to Ushafa.

He said, “As part of our mission particularly as an NGO we want to bring healthcare delivery to the grassroots where people are unable to access quality healthcare as a result of poverty or lack of money as the case may be.”

Asked why the choice of Ushafa, he said,” We find a community where you have a preponderance of some less privileged who even though they need these health interventions are unable to access them because they don’t have money.

“We have a lot of them here so we felt that bringing it to these people who particularly need it but can not access it because of limited financial sources will make a lot of sense.”

On his part, the association’s chapter Secretary, Victor Ikiriko said they carry out quarterly outreach where they distribute items to the host communities based on their needs.

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He also said that the traditional ruler of the community, Esu Ushafa being aware that the association renders humanitarian services to the rural communities called him over the health-related issue.

“We arranged for a doctor to see him and we extended the medical services to the community,” he said.

Expressing joy for the gesture, the Public Health Officer in charge of the centre, Madam Adama Oshekwolo thanked NAS for extending the free medical service to the community.

She said the health centre was faced with some challenges.

“On a daily basis, people visit the facility but because of poverty some don’t come except when the situation becomes worse, maybe they have been sick for a long time. We don’t have a resident doctor.

“We feel great with the free medical service, it has helped to improve the health of the community members, marking the world health day in Ushafa has helped to improve the health of the community,” she said.

About 100 indigent people from the community benefitted from the free medical treatment including the distribution of mosquito nets, face masks and donation of drugs to the centre.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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