National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has launched its 2021 medical teams’ Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD).
The scheme’s Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, said at the launch in Abuja on Monday that the initiative, a medical outreach to rural communities, would feature sensitisation on disease prevention and care.
Ibrahim said the scheme had donated over 300 wheelchairs with the support of partners and established community-based clinics and humanitarian support, among others, to communities.
According to him, the 2021 centrally-coordinated medical outreach with the theme “Health is Wealth for Advancement” is taking place simultaneously in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He added that “apart from the HIRD, corps members have been using the NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) platforms to make health-related interventions, including medical outreaches, health surveys and other health activities.
“Others include campaigns against HIV/AIDS, malaria control, guinea worm eradication, immunisation against measles, poliomyelitis and other child-killer diseases, as well as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
“Also, while the nation was observing the COVID-19 lockdown, we harnessed the talent of corps members for various interventions, including mass production and donation of face masks and others through the FCT Administration and state governments.”
Ibrahim said that the interventions through the HIRD scheme recorded enormous impact toward reproductive health, reduction of maternal and infant mortality, among others.
The NYSC Coordinator in the FCT, Alhaji Suleiman Abdul, said the scheme was aimed at impacting positively on the lives of the less privileged, using Community Development Services as a platform.
Abdul said that with the scheme, rural dwellers would get the desired healthcare throughout the year.
He, therefore, pledged the scheme’s readiness to sustain the initiative and appealed for support from well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to bring healthcare closer to rural dwellers.
He explained that “the ability of youth corps members to come together as one and identify the needs of their host communities is an indication that the geographical spread and intellectual capacity of these patriots are elixir for national development.
“This scheme has earned the right to be described as the ‘Leading Light of Youth Organisations’ and we shall continue to lead the pace,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malam Bello Musa, the Village Head of Damagazan Hausawa Kari Community in the FCT, appreciated NYSC for the health intervention, while soliciting for agricultural interventions to assist the villagers.
Musa appealed to government to establish government school in the community as there was none to cater for the educational needs of the people, with a population of about 1,500.