Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
Community in Odukpani local government area of Cross River State have hailed the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC scheme for deeming it fit to come to their recue with free medical health services. They said the community has always benefited from the activities of the scheme over years, especially from Corps Members posted to the community.
Speaking during a four day free medical outreach programme held at Adiabo community hall, village of the community, Chief Joseph Edet noted that the outreach came at a time when the people needed it most. He said most of the people do not have the fund to take good care of themselves which made the medical outreach remarkable. He thanked the management of the scheme for always bringing their activities to the community.
He said the community had immensely benefited from the services of the scheme over the years. He also used the medium to appreciate Corps Members in the community, saying that they have been instrumental to the developmental strides of the State not just the community. He showered his royal blessings on them while at the same time charging them to sustain the good works they have being doing for the community.
Flagging off the Medical Outreach, the Director General who was represented by the State Coordinator for NYSC Cross River, Mohammed Nakamba said the scheme thought it wise to embark on the programme as a way of appreciating the enabling environment members of the scheme enjoy, adding that it is a show of love and sympathy the NYSC has for the people. According to the DG, the scheme specifically chose Adiabo community in Odukpani local government area because of the value the scheme has placed on them. He said the programme was planned to benefit members of the community and to ensure they stay healthy.
“I hasten to remind Nigerians that, apart from the Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers, HIRD, Corps members have for decades been using other NYSC Community Development Service platforms to make more frequent health-related interventions, including medical outreaches, health surveys, construction of cottage clinics and renovation of other health facilities. Others include campaign against HIV/AIDS, Malaria Control, Guinea Worm Eradication, the immunization against Measles, Poliomyelitis and other child-killer diseases as well as the prevention of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD. Our recent contributions to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic have also attracted widespread commendations.
“While the nation was on lockdown, we harnessed the talents of Corps members for various interventions, including mass production and donation of face masks, antiseptic liquid soaps and hand sanitizers through the FCT Administration and State Governments all over the Federation. They equally fabricated and donated automatic and foot-operated water, liquid soap and hand sanitizer dispensers and disinfection chambers in several States. Their interventions also included donation of food and other palliative items to indigent persons, sensitization of the public on prevention and control measures, decontamination of public premises and the conduct of free virtual teaching lessons nationwide for students in exit classes of JSS3 and SS3.
“I am proud to report that, on the whole, the health interventions of the Scheme through the HIRD and other platforms have made enormous impacts such as contribution to the improvement of reproductive health, reduction of maternal and infant mortality as well as maintenance and improvement of health infrastructure.
“However, I must also express deep appreciation of the encouragement and support given by stakeholders such as Federal and State Ministries of Health; National Primary Health Care Development Agency; United Nations International Children’s Fund, UNICEF; World Health Organization; the Society for Family Health International; other International and Non Governmental Organizations; pharmaceutical companies and public-spirited individuals. It is my prayer that we will continue to strengthen our collaborations for the benefit of Nigerians”, the DG said.
He highlighted that Management of the scheme launched the NYSC-HIRD in 2014 to deepen the impact of her healthcare services. He said it is a platform for contribution towards promoting the wellbeing of indigent persons at the grassroots by granting them easier access to free and quality healthcare, adding that the programme is largely implemented through medical outreaches in communities across the country, during which Corps Medical Volunteers carry out diagnosis; treatment, including minor medical procedures; and referrals of patients.
The NYSC boss further stated that drugs, eye glasses and other medical consumables are given to patients free of charge. He reported that so far, over two million persons have been attended to by the NYSC Medical Teams on the HIRD Platform.
Speaking with newsmen, Assistant Director in Charge of Community Development Service, CDS, Umoffong Ubokudom said the NYSC has always been veritable tool in easing the sufferings of host communities by encouraging Corps Members to identify felt needs of their host communities and embark on projects geared at bringing solutions to such problems.
On her part, president of the Medical and Health CDS group, Corps Member Asiro Precious Chidera appreciated the NYSC for giving them the platform to be part of the outreach and to reach out to the community.