Lagos begins free medical intervention for children
As part of efforts to provide equitable and sustainable health care to Lagosians, the state government has started a free health care delivery service under the initiative tagged, “Healthy Bee Project”.
The free medical mission is organised by Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat (BOSKOH) in collaboration with Healthcare Mission International, a non-governmental organization (NGO) to deliver free health care services especially to children between ages zero to 12 with a strategic vision to protect children from the sickness that may impede their potentials.
The programme involves screening children for visual and hearing impairments, and other ailments that can negatively impede their capacity to study.
The Lagos Healthy Bee programme commenced with a six-day screening of over 21,000 persons in seven Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state, after which those whose conditions that required higher medical examinations and surgeries were referred to the tertiary healthcare facilities for free medical care.
Seven primary health care centres were carefully selected across the divisions of the state to ensure that residents in the five administrative divisions of the state, “IBILE”, benefit from the programme. The selected primary health care centres include: Ajara PHC Badagry, Akerele PHC Surulere, Ikotun PHC Alimosho, Iga Idungaran PHC Lagos Island, Epe PHC Epe, Onigbongo PHC Ikeja, and Ita Elewa PHC Ikorudu.
Children found to have visual or hearing impairments during screening and were provided with glasses and hearing aids to help them overcome the condition and those with more complicated issues were transferred to various General Hospitals in the state for surgeries. Even though children are the prime targets of this programme, vulnerable adults were also given health counselling and screening for tuberculosis and Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) after which those found to be positive were managed using the established channel of treatment of the illnesses.
Interestingly, the surgical phase of the project commenced on August 12, 2019. Eye surgeries were held at Orile Agege General Hospital thereafter other surgeries held simultaneously across all designated hospital some of the surgeries conducted include: paediatric surgery, orthopaedic surgery, dental surgery, adult eye surgery and a host of others.
To ensure effective and efficient health care delivery, Health Mission International brought in to the state volunteer surgeons from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom as well as within Nigeria to join their counterpart in the state’s general hospitals.
Underscoring the importance of the intervention, Executive Director, Health Mission International, Mrs. Nike Osa, told journalists that the Lagos State Government recognised the prime place of children in the survival of humanity which is why it is collaborating with her organisation to help them to be healthy to get well prepared for future roles and commitments.
“At present 806 surgeries have been conducted in the designated general hospitals in the state and yet another 615 has been booked for various surgeries. At the end of the mission over 1400 surgeries would have been carried out.
“This is an innovative program is meant to help our children to be healthy and prepare them for their roles in the future as leaders,” she said.
A beneficiary, Adaramoye Lateef, stated that he has been battling with eye issue for quite a while and was informed that he needed to undergo eye surgery but could not because of lack of fund.
“When I heard that a medical mission would take place in my neighbourhood, I was so happy because I have been looking for such opportunities. After undergoing a screening exercise, I was told that I needed a surgical operation, which was done successfully. I thank the administration of Sanwo-Olu for this laudable initiative. God will continue to be with him and his government”. He said
Another beneficiary, Nike Lawal also expressed gratitude to the state government applauded the initiative, which according to her is targeted to the grass root.
“To say that I am happy is an understatement, my son has been having a sleepless night for about two weeks as a result of toothache. I heard of this programme through my uncle who instructed me to take advantage of it. After the screening, the doctor said they would extract the tooth, they did and I am most happy. Though he experienced some pains after the extraction he could sleep well now. I really appreciate the kind gesture by the Governor for giving succour to us and I pray for good health and God’s protection always,” she said.
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