Corps Members Extend Free Healthcare Services to Ekiti Communities
Odo-Uro, a sleepy community in Irepodun/ Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, is one of the fortunate communities that benefited from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)’s free healthcare services recently extended to people in rural communities.
Youths, old men and women, children as well as middle aged housewives gathered in hundreds to benefit from the services rendered by the corps medical team. Free medical check ups, treatment on diagnosis and free provision of drugs for treatment of ailments diagonised were done as a way of giving back to the hos t communities.
The scheme, tagged NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) has been an initiative of its Director General, Brig-Gen Johnson Bamidele Olawumi.
It was flagged-off nationwide on Monday, October 5, in all the LGAs, and had lasted for a week. Rural dwellers who could not aford basic healthcare services, were given elaborate healthcare services which included medical checks leading to diagnoses of ailments, prescription and provision of drugs for treatment and treatment among others. Where a diagnosed ailment could not be treated by the team, patients were referred to competent hospitals.
Victoria Adamu, a resident of the community, who benefited from the scheme, said she was grateful to NYSC for bringing the healthcare succour to her town: “This is a very good thing the NYSC is doing. Today, I have benefited from the free healthcare service. I was tested and it was discovered that I had malaria. I was advised on what to do to preven t malaria and was also given drugs to treat the ailment.”
Madam Silifat Seni, a nursing mother, told Daily Sun of how the medical team made her realise that her failure to get immunisation for her baby could endanger its life: “The advice they gave us we nursing mothers has opened our eyes to the need to always ensure that our babies get immunised. They also made us to know that immunisation for our children is free in the government hospitals. These are pieces of information many of us didn’t know as we do not have hospitals in our community.”
The state coordinator of NYSC who represented the DG, Mr. Tobias Ibeh, said: “The Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers, which was conceived as an idea over a year ago has today become not only a reality but also a programme that has gained national acceptance. Suffice it to say that the success recorded in the two pilot states of Kwara and Lagos are now being replicated in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The NYSC scheme in the past 42 years, has not relented in ensuring that its mandate is vigorously pursued thereby making meaningful impacts on the lives of the people.A gainst this backdrop, the goal of the HIRD programme is to mobilise corps medical volunteers in the provision of health intervention through diagnosis, treatment, referrals and proper prevention mechanism, thereby enhancing the general well being of rural dwellers across Nigeria.
“Volunteer corps medical personnel, who will form the core of the team, will work as a health intervention agents in driving the wheel of the health initiative.
“This one-week health outreach, which is taking place simultaneously in selected rural communities across Nigeria, has been designed to address the health challenges of our people. Our confidence in the success of this programme also lies in the fact that we have been able to secure the support for some stakeholders, who are either assisting us with their personnel or providing other material support in the areas of drugs and equipment.
“Therefore, we shall continue to forge further collaboration with specific partners in the health sector. These include federal and state ministries of health, National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHDA), UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), Society for Family Health (SFH), Family Health International (FHI), as well as non governmental and international organizations, including but not limited to Royal Heritage Health Foundation, Ilorin, Grace Project International, MTN and Guinness Nigeria Plc.”
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