No fewer than 44,000 Lagos residents have benefitted from the first phase of the free medical expedition programme tagged, ‘The Eko Free Health Mission’ sponsored by the Lagos State Government.
The residents are from Ajeromi- Ifelodun, Ojo, Iba, Oto-Awori, Apapa, Iganmu, Lagos Mainland, Yaba, Ibeju-Lekki, Lekki, Oshodi, Isolo, Ejigbo, Eti-Osa, Eti-Osa East, Iru-Victoria Island and Ikoyi-Obalende local governments and local council development areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who made this known on Friday, while giving a progress report of the programme, stated that statistics obtained indicated that 8,659 individuals were diagnosed with hypertension; 1,018 others were diagnosed to have diabetes while 281 people are with symptoms suggestive of cataracts, during the free health mission.
“Over 9,000 people have refractive errors; 1,913 people are with periodontitis and 54 cases of HIV positive persons were discovered.
These numbers exclude cases of communicable diseases such as malaria, respiratory tract diseases, skin infections, urinary tract infections, and sepsis”, he added.
While lamenting that the figures are of concern to the State government as well as a reflection of the need for Lagosians to make their health a priority, Idris noted that the free medical mission programme is designed to treat primary health conditions and screen for common diseases as well as create a health consciousness so as improve health-promoting behaviour and practices.
He said “There are a lot of individuals in our State who do not know the status of their health. Let us all bear in mind, that a poor state of health is a significant hindrance to achieving our life dreams and ambitions”.
“We encourage everyone to take advantage of the different services that are being offered during the programme. The scope of services includes screening services for non-communicable diseases, especially hypertension and diabetes, treatment of common ailments, HIV counselling and testing, family planning services, screening and treatment of common eye diseases as well as refractions and provision of glasses, dental care services and health education or health talks”, the Commissioner added.
He disclosed that the free Medical Missions are short-term significant intervention programme because it offers the State government the opportunity to provide healthcare services to interested persons irrespective of their age, gender, socioeconomic status and affiliations for their convenience.
“And so, no one is exempted from benefitting from this programme especially the most vulnerable group of our population at the grassroots comprising of the elderly, infants, pregnant women, people living with disabilities and other health conditions related to maternal and child health”, he explained.
While stating that the current phase will run from now till August 16, this year the Commissioner listed other areas to be visited as Oriade, Ikosi-Isheri, Ikosi-Ejirin and Agbado-Oke Odo LCDAs.
According to him, experienced officials have been lined to run the exercise and pledged that they would ensure that the mandates of the State Government are fully realised.
He advised the people to bear in mind that the services are provided free of charge and will include free medication as prescribed by the healthcare professionals.
The Commissioner, therefore, urged residents to visit designated medical mission sites at the aforementioned local government and local council development areas to get screened and treated for common ailments at no cost.
“As always, the Lagos State Government is working tirelessly to ensure that all citizens have healthcare coverage.
The present administration’s commitment to sustainable healthcare and universal health coverage is unshaken and this demands that the State adopts an approach that is not only efficient but also effective in addressing the growing health demand of the Lagosians”, Idris said.