Going by the popular saying that prevention is better than cure, the Rotary Club of Gbagada, District 9110, Nigeria, recently held a health awareness campaign and free screening programme for the residents of Gbagada, Anthony, Oshodi, Mushin and its environs.
The health campaign which featured distribution of insecticide-treated nets and sanitary towels for girls, HIV test and counseling, deworming for kids, vitamin A and B administration, cervical, breast and prostate cancer screening, polio immunization, eye test and treatment for cataract and pterygium, screening of diabetes and glucose level, hypertension screening, malaria screening, hepatitis b and c screening, tuberculosis screening and treatment was held at the General Hospital, Gbagada, from 31 October to 2 November 2019.
According to the President, Rotary Club of Gbagada, District 9110, Rotr. Akinwale Odutola, having noticed that many people do not go for a medical check-ups, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA), in commemorating the 2019 Rotary Family Health Days, decided to make the process easier by bringing healthcare and checkups closer to the people and of course, making it free of charge, while going into partnership with the government and private organisations.
Speaking further, Odutola said health screening is important because it has been discovered that a lot of people are coming down with chronic diseases and health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, hepatitis, and other silent killer diseases, adding that the awareness is very important as it will afford many Nigerians opportunities to know their health status.
Explaining further, the Rotary boss noted that regular health exams and tests can help detect health problems before they become complicated and sometimes untreatable.
Speaking in the same vein, Rotr. Bola Oyebade, district coordinator, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA), District 9110, Nigeria, stated that the group RFHA, started as fighting AIDS initially, but when it realised that just fighting AIDS will not do, it expanded, adding that the RFHD programme is holding concurrently in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Uganda.
Oyebade further stated that the goal of the programme was to have everyone be in good health so that they will live well. He added that as part of activities for the exercise, tests were carried out on diabetics, glucose, hypertension and malaria, saying there was also the distribution of free mosquito nets, drugs, condoms and the distribution of sanitary towels.
He further remarked that the event was organised yearly as a tradition in the club in collaboration with Rotary International Districts over the years, noting that the club has made remarkable progress with the initiative, stressing that the turnout has been wonderful. “It was a three-day event which was planned to have more 1,000 participants” he said.
In their contributions, the duo of Rotr. Flavia Mirro, from the Rotary Club of Uganda, and Rotr. Gbenga Olubowale, former chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos State Branch, noted that the programme was an immense and impactful, Rotary-led nationwide health campaign held over three days in multiple African countries, providing comprehensive free healthcare and screening services at selected sites to communities around the country.
According to the duo, the three-day health programme was a complete cycle as all hands were on deck from the registration point, nurses, physicians and medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists and others were on ground to attend to participants, adding that many participants were surprised to hear about their medical results as they were unaware of many diseases they are living with.
Some beneficiaries of the free medical programme, including an octogenarian Madam Victoria Adekunle, who came for eyes test and also benefited from the free eye glasses, and Miss Simisola Adewale, who came for malaria screening appreciated the Rotary Club and called for more support to enable poor Nigerians live meaningful life.
Appreciating the organisers when they paid him a courtesy visit in his office, Dr A.A. Kaka, the medical director, General Hospital, Gbagada expressed the delight of the hospital management at the activities of Rotary Club of Gbagada, District 9110, in the state, noting that regular health screening is essential for good health and health care.