A Social Development Strategist, Mr. Seun Dosunmu, has urged wealthy Nigerians and corporate organisations to establish foundations that would cater for health needs of poor individuals to reduce their burdens.
Dosunmu, who works with Accrossall, an NGO, made the call in an interview in Lagos.
He spoke on the sidelines of a free health screening and treatment organised by the 1997/ 2003 set of St. Gregory’s College, Lagos, to commemorate the World Health Day celebration.
Participants were screened for sugar level, hepatitis B, Blood Pressure, HIV and Malaria.
Dosunmu said, “Government alone cannot cater for health needs of the citizenry.
“The non-governmental organisations and wealthy Nigerians should support government by investing in the nation’s health sector.
“Without good health, we cannot be productive as a nation. We also need conducive environment that will promote good mental health.’’
Commenting on the 2017 theme: “Depression: Let’s Talk’’ , he said from available statistics, quite a number of people were depressed, while many were not diagnosed and treated, because they do not talk about it.
“Depression can also lead to other ailments including high blood pressure, stress-related complications like cardiovascular diseases and others.
“We want to show that the 1997/ 2003 set of the college care about the health of others and that is why we are promoting good health through free services,“ he said.
In his remarks, an alumnus of the college, Dr. Ige Lawrence, said that of the total number of those screened, only three tested positive for malaria, while two were found to be hypertensive.
“Those found to be positive were given medications and referred to the hospitals for further treatment.
“Although, nobody tested positive for hepatitis B, HIV and high blood sugar, there is need to educate people and enlighten them on the need for regular medical checkups.
“Also, we educated them on preventive measures against these diseases. The aim is to promote good health and wellbeing,“ Lawrence said.
A 52-year-old beneficiary, Mr. Splendour Attah, expressed delight about the free medical service.
Attah said that the programme had enabled him to know his health status on the major killer diseases.
“It is very laudable that some alumni of the St. Gregory College will carry out such exercise. This shows that they care about the health of people around this neigbourhood.
“We also had a group tour to the Lekki Conservation Centre, where I felt very relaxed.
“We need more of this kind in Nigeria, because many people cannot afford it,“ he said.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Ibironke Ajayi, said she had not visited the hospital for a long while, adding that the exercise had helped her to carry out some vital checkup.
“ Aside the checkup, I am now educated about the need to go for regular checkups whether I am sick or not.
“At least, such checkup will give me an idea about my health status and the need to follow up,’’ she said. (NAN)