By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The Kaduna State Chapter of the National Association of Seadogs, NAS, has taken medical outreach to the Katin Aga Agwa community in the Sabo area of Kaduna.

NAS, also known as Pyrates Confraternity, said that the public health outreach was in alignment with its core mandates of the furtherance of humanitarian ideals and social advocacy.

The President of NAS, Kaduna Chapter, Henry Nduka Onyiah, said that the focus of the outreach tagged “Health is Wealth” was to advise residents on lifestyle choices that promoted healthy living as a cheaper option.

Onyiah said the initiative was an ongoing one and was envisaged to be implemented in localities across the seven traditional districts that make up the greater Kaduna Metropolitan Area on a quarterly basis.

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He further stated that there were other interventions that were being designed and would be unveiled at the appropriate time.

He expressed appreciation to the Mai Ungwar for the welcome accorded to the National Association of Seadogs, Kaduna Chapter and the support he provided when he was initially approached on implementing the initiative in his domain.

This, he said, was a demonstration of the depth of love and care he had for his people.

The Capon also used the opportunity to extol the Kaduna State Government on the great efforts at ensuring peace and security of the citizens of the State and implored understanding of the current situation by referring to the adage ‘wata rana, sai labari’.

He made reference to the ongoing investments in health care, especially from the public health perspective.

He said it was testimony to the selfless and focused efforts of Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai; Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni as well as the Director of Public Health, Dr Hajara Ni’ima Kera.

He appealed for support from residents of Kaduna State for the work being done by them to improve access to affordable quality healthcare.

The NAS chapter President also acknowledged the contributions made by Ms Hannatu Dauda Theyra and Pa Akinwale Oladundoye Ojo as resource persons during the design and implementation of the project.

He assured of the readiness of the National Association of Seadogs, Kaduna Chapter to partner with the Government of Kaduna State, Local Governments as well as traditional institutions at all times for the collective good of the 10 million residents of Kaduna State in particular and rest of Nigeria in general.

Explaining more on the medical exercise, he said, “An eight-man medical team comprising of four doctors and four nurses led by Dr Ephraim Asuquo of St Gerald’s Hospital along with Doctor Emmanuel Joseph from the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, offered the residents blood pressure measurements as well as counselling and in a few cases made referrals to hospitals.

“During the programme which lasted for about four hours, a total of 152 persons were seen — 88 male (57.89%) and 64 female (42.1%).

“Amongst the female participants, 11.84% were newly diagnosed as hypertensive, while 5.26% were aware that they were hypertensives.

“In the case of male participants, newly diagnosed hypertensives were 11.18% while 13.81% were known hypertensives.

“The cumulative for hypertensive for male was 25% while that of female was 17.11% making a total of 42.11% of the total population screened during the programme.”

Mallam Baba Kacham, the Mai Ungwar of the Katin Aga Agwa community who was in attendance, praised the laudable NAS initiative and enjoined other organisations to emulate the gesture.

He promised to ensure that residents were reminded of the need to follow the advice of the doctors at every opportunity.

A cross section of the participants that were interviewed expressed appreciation to the organisation for choosing their locality to benefit from the initiative, noting that they had not experienced such free services before.

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