By Afeez Olawoyin
At least 258 patients have benefitted from the free medical mission organised by the National Association of Seadogs for residents of the Ilodo-Ijebu community and environment in Ijebu-East Local Council Development Area of Ogun State.
The association said it singled out the community as a beneficiary of its medical mission as a result of the lack of primary healthcare delivery centre in the area.
The free medical mission was part of activities that marked the NAS Quarter One Pyrates Working Committee meeting which was held in Ijebu-Ode.
National President of NAS, Chief Arthur Boje, ascribed the failure of leaders to the poor health care delivery system being witnessed in the country.
Boje, a United Kingdom-based lawyer, said leaders of the country should be ashamed of themselves for their inability to provide the needed social amenities to the people who choose them.
He said it was sad that the country being the most populous country in Africa failed to address the health needs of her citizens.
“We go to neglected communities and it is basically due to the failures of our various leaders to provide healthcare facilities in remote areas, just like this. We are here to provide free medical facilities and free medical care to the communities that are disadvantaged.
“If the government has failed and we have passionate citizens who are ready to pull resources together, it will be good. We are doing this because the government has failed to do the needful,” he said.
A 31-year-old cripple, Mr. Nelson Akpowone, who was given a wheelchair, said he had been crawling on the ground for over 20 years.
Akpowone commended NAS for giving him the wheelchair to enable him to move around, adding that he would wish to also further his education.
“I really commend the association for this because I have been crawling on the ground for 20 years and with the wheelchair I can move around. I am planning to study further if help comes my way.”
Another 88-year-old woman, Mrs. Oyinade Erugbe, who also got a wheelchair following her inability to walk, also commended NAS for the gesture.
In an emotion-laden voice, Erugbe said, “I am elated that this association has come to my rescue by donating this wheelchair and crutches to me. I had wished for it long ago.”
The Coordinator of NAS in Ijebu-Ode and environ, Mr. Jamal Apena, said the choice of Ilodo-Ijebu for the medical mission was meant to also draw the government’s attention to the plight of the people.
At the end of the one-day exercise, the Head of Medicals, Dr. Bassey Ntekim, said the medical team was able to examine 256 people for various health challenges, ranging from hypertension, diabetes, malaria, chest pain, and eye test.
He said they also de-wormed all the children in the community, saying they also came with an ambulance in case of any emergency.