By Fred Ezeh
Tobis Garden is a popular entertainment centre located at Jahi, Abuja. But it served a different purpose last weekend. For two days , hundreds of Abuja residents thronged to the place for medical services.
It was a health fair organized by health care operators . It was not only pharmaceutical companies that were there. Food specialists were on hand to tutor on how to eat and live healthily. Everybody who went there had one good tale or the other to tell. People were offered free medical examinations as well quality advice on how to live without recurring ailments.
“I do not know that something like this can take place in Nigeria . I have always thought that our government, doctors , lawyers and hospital owners are wicked people. What I have been taught today can take me for the rest of my life”, one Mr Ibrahim Musa told Daily Sun.
It was not only Nigerians that attended the colourful event. On Saturday over 60 expatriates graced the fair.
That might have made health care operators in Abuja to org. The organizers of the fair said they deliberately fixed the event for weekend, perhaps, to enable people, particularly the busy private and public workers to participate.
The event, which was first of its kind, tilted against the conventional trade fair that mostly focused on consumables, household and non household items, to focus on campaign for public health care which is key to longevity.
It was an open entrance and exit fair. Unrestricted opportunity was also provided for consumers to receive free health talks, advice, while a relaxed interactive platform was provided for consumers to ask questions about their total well being.
Early morning exercise heralded the second day of the event which witnessed more patronage. As it was in the first day, health education was given to people that turned out, with emphasis on benefit of regular exercise to the body.
They were also advised to avoid unnecessary weight gain by engaging in regular exercise, either in accredited gym, walkways or open field.
The organizers, Mrs. Ijeoma Nwafor, told Abuja Metro that she was disturbed by the significant increase in obesity and unnecessary weight gain, which was as a result of unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
She was impressed with the participation of several spa, gym operators and other health consultants who were present with different health care products, as well as health care consumers who were equally available to take the message home for their consumption.
The organizers had prior to the commencement of the two-day event exposed the early arrivals to the benefits of healthy living, and encouraged them to take full advantage of the health fair to get quality dermatological and other medical products that would enhance their longevity.
She assured the consumers of the readiness of the health operators to offer discounted health and other services, which was significantly different from what was obtainable outside the health fair.
While some health consumers came individually, others visited with their family members, to get first hand information on how they could collectively manage their health, to avoid regular visit to hospitals for medical attention.
A banker, Mr. Ayinde Lekan, who came in company of his family members said he was impressed with the attention he received from different stands in fare, particularly the advice on regular exercise and nutrition.
He said that he took time to visit different health stands to get information and advice which he hitherto disregarded.
He said: “I work every day of the week, and never had I taken time recently to visit hospital for a routine medical check up. But I am happy with the advice I received from the fair and had taken the decision to start regular exercise and change of diet for an improved health care.”