From Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
help came the way of some less privileged indigenes of Iwo in Osun State recently when a philanthropist offered them a free medical care worth millions of naira.
About 4,000 beneficiaries, including children and adults, trooped to the premises of Wings Schools located in the outskirts of the town in the early hours of the day to take advantage of the available medical facilities and health care service.
To guarantee qualitative health care delivery for them, a team of medical doctors and health specialists came from LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo and Ogbomosho to attend to the heath care needs of the beneficiaries.
The philanthropist, Lai Olurode, told Daily Sun that it was an annual programme for the needs of less privileged Muslims. A professor of Sociology and proprietor of Wings Schools, he lamented that several of the less privileged people who suffer from diverse ailments could not afford medical check-up nor treatment due to poverty:
“Sicknesses and ailments which were not supposed to take the lives of some people had sent them to early graves due to failure to go to hospitals for check-up or get prompt treatment as a result of poverty.”
He said many less privileged people rely on herbal remedies without proper recommendation by qualified health personnel, while others embark on self medication with its inherent danger. He said the initiative was intended to give the people the opportunity for medical check-up, diagnosis and treatment of common ailments such as malaria, migraine, eye and dental problems as well as terminal diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, typhoid fever, lever and kidney problems among others which commonly result in untimely deaths.
The leader of the medical personnel, Dr Seriki Babajide, said since the free medical programme was introduced 10 years ago, several lives had been saved, while good health had been guaranteed among the people. He disclosed that the influx of patients in hospitals had reduced significantly as a result of the routine check-up through the free medical prgramme.
He said the common ailments discovered included pneumonia, worms, cough, malaria among children, while asthma, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension were common among adults. Beneficiaries with special cases were given referral to the General Hospital in Iwo and LAUTECHTH, Osogbo, for special attention. A woman with heart failure was immediately referred to the General Hospital, Iwo, for urgent attention. Those diagnosed of certain ailments were given on-the- spot treatments.
The doctors cautioned the beneficiaries against self-medication and the dangerous implications of patronising quack medical personnel. They also warned against use of fake and expired drugs, especially herbal remedies that do not have NAFDAC approval. They also talked on the importance of regular check-up, the need to report symptoms of ailments to doctors promptly, avoiding purchase of drugs off the counter at pharmacies and patent medicine stores without qualified doctor’s prescription.
An octogenarian, Pa Ajani Korede, said: “I was happy when one of my friends told me that Professor Olurode was going to bring medical doctors to Iwo to check our health conditions. As soon as the day broke, I took my walking stick and managed to trek to the place.
“I have pains all over my joints. I can’t walk very well, especially when I wake up in the morning. I thank God that a doctor attended to me. He examined me and gave me some drugs. I hope to get better soon.”
A 60-year-old woman, a retired civil servant, said: “I always fall sick. Today, it is malaria, tomorrow, it is joint pains. Next tomorrow, it is stomach ache. I am even confused. I have been managing myself. I don’t have money to go to hospital because I am a pensioner and my pension is not regular.
“That is why I have been thanking God for this free medical programme. May God bless Professor Olurode who brought doctors to check us. They have attended to me and by the grace of God, I am going to be okay.”
Tolulope Olaoluwa, a JSS three girl: “I always fall sick. Most of the times, I lose appetite for food. I also feel very weak. I cannot run or walk fast and I am not smart like my friends. I always feel headache, joint pains and stomachache. My parents don’t have money to take me to hospital because they are retirees.
“Some times, I get treatment from the school clinic and feel healthy but after some weeks, I begin to feel sick again. At the free medical check-up, I was treated by the doctors and they gave me complete drugs. I hope to be fine.”