By Wale Ibrqhim, Lokoja
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has flagged-off its annual Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) in Zango Daji community, Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The NYSC, HIRD is an annual free healthcare delivery for the aged and less-privileged persons with different ailments who could not afford hospitals bills in rural communities.
Speaking on behalf of the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, in Lokoja ,the state Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs Ngozi Nwatarali disclosesd the NYSC was leveraging on its spread and abundant human resources within its fold to drive the HIRD.
Nwatarali explained that the health initiative was designed to motivate corps medical personnel to provide healthcare service in rural areas with aims of taking health care to the door steps of the citizens.
She added that they have competent doctors, nurses, pharmacists, ophthalmologists and other health personnel among the corps members, willing to render their humanitarian services to the people.
“This initiative is indeed in tandem with the ‘New Direction Policy’ of the Youth friendly Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, of taking health care delivery to the door steps of rural dwellers.
“This course is achieved due to the cordial relationship with the State Government, Ministry of Health, our parent ministry, other stakeholders in the health sector and the unflinching support of community leaders.
“We thank all stakeholders in Kogi for their support in every way towards the success of the HIRD Week in Kogi,” Nwatarali said.
The coordinator, however, solicited for more assistance from well meaning individuals and organisations to support the noble initiative to enable them reach out to other rural dwellers in terms of drugs, test kits, venue for such events, among others.
The Medical team leader, Pharm. Maurice Molokwu, told thet newsmen that his team was fully ready to render humanitarian services to the indigenes of the area, saying those they cannot handle would be referred to the hospital.
“I can say clearly that we are fully ready to diagnose and treat various diseases such as malaria, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholera, typhoid, eye problems and HIV screening and counseling and during the outreach,” Molokwu said.
In his remarks, the District Head of Zango Daji community, Mr Bayo John, commended the NYSC for the gesture and called on wealthy Nigerians, government and private organisations to emulate the initiative.
“We thank the NYSC for considering it fit to bring this health initiative to our people in Zango community because ‘Health is Wealth’. We are cooperating with them to ensure that everything is done smoothly,” John said.
One of the beneficiaries, who is the Head Teacher of the school, Mrs Balikis Abdulsalam, told NAN that the program was an impressive one, saying they have learnt many things especially personal hygiene.
“They taught us on how to maintain a personal hygiene, wash our hands and advise us not to engage in drugs which we will in turn pass to our students. I was treated and given free drugs,” She said.
The lectures were delivered by corps members on breast cancer, depression, drug abuse, personal hygiene, and people were taught the proper way to wash their hands including the children.