Lagos offers free medical services
60,000 benefit from Eko Health Mission, programme ends June 8
As part of efforts to improve the well being of its residents, the Lagos State Government has taken free medical services to all the nook and crannies of the state.
At last count, no fewer than 60,000 residents from seven Local Government and 12 Local Council Development Areas comprising Ojo, Oto-Awori, Iba, Badagry, Badagry-West, Olorunda, Oshodi, Isolo, Ejigbo, Amuwo-Odofin, Oriade, Ajeromi, Ifelodun, Apapa, Iganmu, Ikeja, Onigbongbo and Ojodu have benefitted from the Eko Health Mission programme.
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, told journalists that the Eko Health Mission is a medical intervention sponsored by the State government to provide free healthcare services to residents of Lagos across the 20 Local council areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas of the State for three-days every week and will end on the June 8, 2017. Ambode who stated this at the official flag-off ceremony of the on-going health mission at New City Primary School, Palm Avenue, Mushin noted that the Eko Health Mission is in furtherance of his administration’s objective to take health care to the grassroots and underserved areas in the State.
The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, explained that the programme was introduced as a strategic initiative and comprehensive medical outreach programme to complement the established healthcare system in Lagos for the attainment of sustainable development goals.
He added that the health mission programme would avail residents the opportunity of being screened and managed for non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, common ailments, eye diseases and dental problems.
“I would like to enjoin all residents to take advantage of this opportunity to know their health status and receive treatment from our team of qualified medical personnel. These experts are equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to provide the appropriate care you need by applying global best practices, ensuring equality and professionalism at all points of contact”, the Governor said.
Ambode while commending members of the Health Mission team for their commitment to the success of the initiative noted that it is gratifying that beneficiaries of the programme include elderly, pregnant women and people living with disabilities.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, while speaking on the importance of the programme noted that the State Government is continuously finding ways to improve the health status of its ever-increasing population adding that the plan for achieving this was based on the Health Policy Thrust of the State which is guided by the noble goal that every Lagosians enjoys unfettered access to qualitative healthcare without any barrier whatsoever. Idris disclosed that the strategies adopted in implementing these policies includes the introduction and provision of various programmes that have direct impact on the health outcome of Lagosians stressing that these programmes are geared towards promoting health, detecting diseases early and offering treatment and rehabilitation.
He posited that the overarching goal now is ensuring that residents have access to Universal Health Coverage adding that the Ministry of Health is working tirelessly to develop and implement strategies, programmes, interventions and initiatives to improve the health outcome of all Lagosians.
“One of these interventions is the Eko Health Mission, which the State Government has used over the years to complement health service delivery in the state. This was put in place, as part of the State Government’s quest to find ways to take healthcare to the grassroots and underserved areas of Lagos State, by addressing pressing health issues of the rural communities in the state,” the Commissioner said.
While noting the Health Missions are short-term interventions, Idris stated that the programme is geared towards the Strategic Development Plan of ensuring Universal Health Coverage adding that the Missions provide services that take health care to the doorsteps of its citizens at no cost to the people.
“These health missions are significant because they enable this administration to provide healthcare services to all who come irrespective of their age, gender, socioeconomic status and affiliations,” he added.
The Commissioner while stating that services offered under the programme are provided free of charge, and will include medication for presenting complaints, eye glasses and prompt referrals to the State Health Facilities, where necessary noted that the medical teams providing these services are competent professionals committed to ensuring that the mandate of the state government is fully realized.
Idris stated that the vision of sustainable healthcare and universal coverage demanded that the State adopted an approach that was not only efficient, but also effective in addressing the growing health demand of Lagos megacity.
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