Over 3,000 women across the 33 Local Governments of Oyo State on Thursday benefitted from the free healthcare programme organized by the Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, under the aegis of the Future Assured Initiative.
The programme, held at Loyola College, Ibadan, was organized with the support from the state government and volunteers. The beneficiaries were screened for diabetes, hypertension, cervical and breast cancers.
While some were treated on the spot and given drugs, those with serious ailments were referred to tertiary health institutions for comprehensive examination.
The Governor of the State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and his wife, Florence, were the chief host and hostess of the grand event.
In attendance were wives of state governors across the country: Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola (Osun State); Bolanle Ambode
(Lagos); lara Oshiomhole (Edo); Edith Okowa (Delta); Nkechi Okorocha (Imo); and Mrs. Mero Al-makura (Nassarawa).
Wife of a former Governor of Oyo State, Mrs. Kemi Alao-Akala; Senators Oluremi Tinubu and Monsurat Sunmonu, as well as wife of the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi; various women groups and non-governmental organisations also graced the occasion.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, were among royal fathers that attended the event in their numbers.
While flagging off the programme, the President’s wife said that the situation in the country in terms of the poor health conditions of women and children in the country motivated her into embarking on advocacy towards improving their wellbeing.
She said that she had organized outreach screening programmes in all the six geo-political zones across the states under her Future Assured Initiative and several other interventions
Mrs. Buhari said she was in the state to provide medical services in form of blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks, breast examination and cervical cancer screening, stressing that the initiative was aimed at complementing government’s efforts in providing healthcare services to the citizenry.
In addition to the health benefits, she said that the exercise was also intended to raise awareness on the importance of regular medical check-ups, which, she said, would contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards ensuring healthy living and promoting the wellbeing of the people.
She called on the people to be proactive by going to health facilities for regular medical checkups, saying “even if they don’t have symptoms of diseases, this will allow for early detection of sickness and prompt initiation of treatment’’.
Mrs. Buhari also called on all stakeholders in the provision of healthcare services to ensure availability and accessibility to the services.
The President’s wife commended Ajimobi for ensuring that the indigenes of the state have access to essential healthcare services, while also congratulating the governor’s wife for her passion for health and welfare of women and children.
In his address, the governor expressed appreciation to Mrs. Buhari for choosing the state for the flag off of the programme in the South-West, calling the attention of the people to the fact that world development could only be achieved and sustained through healthcare provision.
Judging by his assessment at the venue, the governor said that 30 per cent of the women that participated in the free examinations for cervical and breast cancers tested positive.
This, he said, would serve as an alarm signal to the beneficiaries to quickly move to the next stage, which, he said, was to seek immediate cure through full medical treatment.
He said, “We are grateful for this gesture of the wife of the President, Mrs. Aishat Buhari for deeming Oyo State fit to host this flag off for the South-West states. At least here today we have more than 3000 women from all our local governments.
“Many people suffer these diseases without knowing and thank God many of those tested today were positive to some of the diseases. They will now enjoy free medical provisions available,’’ he said.
Ajimobi stressed the need for every governor in Nigeria to key into the programme, as a way of supporting the First Lady’s gesture and passion for women and children’s wellbeing.
In her welcome address, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Ajimobi, thanked Mrs. Buhari for taking action against untimely death of women from preventable diseases, stressing that her project would go a long way in complementing the state’s efforts at giving women the best health services available.