A medical initiative for the indigent by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was recently concluded across the various local government areas of the state.
The medical programme offered free checks and medical treatment to market men and women across Lagos.
The medical outreach was jointly organised by three groups, Prime Group, BOS Eko Forum and LMC for BOS. The programme included free medical consultation, free dental care, eye tests and free glasses, as well as free cervical and breast cancer svreening.
The programme, tagged “Sanwo-Olu Cares Medical Outreach,” it was learnt, was targeted at Lagos markets. The essence of markets was due to their strategic location as points of convergence, the organisers said, adding that the medical programme was intended to fill the gaps in healthcare access and delivery in Lagos State.
According to the medical team’s leader, Dr. Ajayi, the outreach was also designed to cater for those who barely have time to visit the hospital and also those that cannot afford the cost of medical treatment.
The medical outreach team visited the 20 local governments in Lagos State. The team consisted of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory personnel and non-clinical health workers.
The team noted that the cervical screening conducted on many people showed an increase in women with cervical issues in the state. A large number of women got referrals to various centres across the local governments.
From the reports of the organisers, there has been an increase in the number of people with high blood pressure, cervical issues and breast ailments in the state. Thousands also have poor sight, as free eyeglasses were distributed after patients had undergone comprehensive eye examination at all the designated centres.
It was gathered that Epe had the highest number of referrals during the programme. There were also more cases of women who had issues with their breast after undergoing the breast cancer screening.
The organisers said they discovered that most of the people who participated during the programme had sight issues. More than 2,500 people were given free eyeglasses after undergoing eye screening and tests by ophthalmologists.
Many of those examined had high blood pressure. Those with very high blood pressure were provided with devices to assist them in monitoring their blood pressure level while others were given referrals to hospitals. The dental screening/surgery aspect of the programme also witnessed hundreds of people having tooth extractions.
During the exercise, many market women appealed to government to come to their aid in the area of health care. They appealed to the state government to ensure that health services reach the grassroots as much as possible.
Many of the market women and others urged Mr. Sanwo-Olu to ensure continuity of the free medical programme, if he is elected into office, claiming that many people could not afford the huge costs of treatment in the hospitals in the state.
A market woman, Mrs. Iyabo Akinpelu, said the programme, if continued, would help the market women to maintain healthy lifestyles.
The leader of the medical team, Dr. Ajayi, said a special health programme should be embarked upon to save the lives of Lagos residents. He underscored the need for improved awareness of cervical cancer and breast cancer. He also stressed the need for sustainability of the programme, noting that it was the only panacea to the growing trend of ailments among the populace.