Ctizens in Obalende in Etiosa Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria and its environs, in the last three days have played host to four clubs under District 9110 of Rotary Club International which carried out medical screenings on the residents in the area and administered drugs to those who need them.
The three-day medical outreach which took place at the Ikoyi Recreational Centre between October 24 and 26, 2023 saw over 1000 members of the public screened for cervical, breast and prostate cancers; tested for malaria, High Blood Pressure, HIV, Sugar level, among other tests run on the people.
The residents including children, adolescents, the youth, the aged, men and women all trooped in to the venue of the screening exercise to be screened, tested and received drugs with all of them beaming with smiles.
Speaking to Journalists, Ify Rita Ejezie, President, Rotary International, District 9110 which covers the whole of Lagos and Ogun states, spoke on the reason for the choice of Obalande, “We chose the area because it is over-populated and we have a lot of the masses living in this area. A lot of them go about without knowing their BP level, they slump and die and say it is something else that killed them, they need to come and take free drugs, bring their children for vaccination. We also screen a lot of things, cancer screening, prostate cancer screening, breast cancer screening, we also screened people with ear problem, those that can’t hear well, so there are a lot. And so when you do this kind of thing, you look for densely populated areas and that is why we are here in Obalende.”
Speaking on other activities of Rotary Ejezie said “Rotary has seven areas of focus, we do things on economic empowerment, vocational training, we send indigent students for scholarships, train them up to university level. We even send people abroad, and Rotarians abroad would take them into their homes, house them for a period of 18 months of the period of their education till they come back. We do peace and conflict resolution, we do health, maternal and child health, and we have been giving lectures on mental health, so there are a lot that Rotary does.”
Funsho Omolara Gbogboade, President, Rotary Club of Ikoyi, 2023/2024, while speaking on the occasion said that the outreach is an annual programme, saying “Annually we have this programme called Rotary Family Health Days, and it is for three days, we would appreciate community people, we would have sensitised them even before the three days. On these days there are doctors, nurses, health workers; they would take their BP, blood sugar level. Two days ago we had screening for breast and cervical cancer. They also attended to children for deworming, polio, just to make the society a better place. With all these we create awareness of the existence of Rotary and what we do. We always give back to the society.”
Gbogboade commended the attendance describing it as massive “It has been massive, the first day, the whole place was jam-packed, the second day, the same thing, right now we have about 100 and this is morning time and as you can see, they are still trooping in, and I am sure before 2pm, which is the closing time, they will keep coming, we are sure of having nothing less than 200 people today.”
On how much was budgeted for the medical outreach Gbogboade disclosed that the sponsorship of the programme came from Rotary International, even though clubs under District 9110 still made their financial input. The clubs were Rotary Club of Ikoyi, Rotary Club of Lagos, Rotary Club of Dolphin and Rotary Club of Ikoyi Metro. “Four of us are collaborating together, so it all depends on what we are given. We realized we still need to put more, For this particular outing each club has spent nothing less than about N300,000 aside what the Rotary has given us.”
She commended Etiosa Local Government Area for providing the clubs with the venue. “Government has given us the venue for free which is good, this is Etiosa Local Government that has approved this place for us for free. We thank them,” Gbogboade disclosed.
Rotarian Augustine Unwaba, Fleet Manager for Huawei, and current President, Rotary Club of Dolphin Estate speaking on the choice of Dolphin Estate said “From the understanding of what Rotary means, it is giving back, we are trying to collaborate with other clubs to see how we would be able to give back to the society, those who cannot afford to have basic medical need to themselves, so we feel it is necessary that we can give to the society.”
Speaking on the role of government in healthcare delivery he said “Basically government is doing a lot, but we on our own we have a role to play, we can’t leave everything for government, so we give back to the society and also even find a way to support the government because we can’t leave it all alone for government.”
Rotarian Douglas Jombo, a Doctor from Rotary Club of Ikoyi said the program is organized every year for families and indigent people in the society. “We organize this every year for indigent people in our midst, in our communities, so that we reach out to them with basic and preventive drugs, and we chose this area because it is our community, this is Ijeh Estate in Ikoyi, we are Rotary Club of Ikoyi, today we have four clubs here that are participating in this outreach.”
Adekemi Ololade Folorunsho, President, Rotary Club of Ikoyi Metro while speaking to journalists, disclosed that the medical outreach coincided with the world polio day. “Today we are having the Rotary Family Health Days. This started on 24th which incidentally coincided with the polio day that is celebrated worldwide even in Nigeria, and this particular health outreach is from District 9110 that covers Lagos and Abeokuta, simply to immunize children, which is the major reason the program was actually instituted for October 24th which is the polio day.
“We immunize the children, run test on people for Malaria, hepatitis; check their sugar level, and all other health matters. So presently that is what we have been doing since 24th till today and as you can see today is the last day.
“We have a lot of people already. In a day we have been doing 200, 210 people and the turnout has been very impressive. This is part of the Rotary theme for this year, which says we should create hope in the world. We have come in contact with people with health issues but they are poor people, and they are so happy that they are able to be attended to and some of them said for sometimes now they have been doing self- medication. They were happy when they heard that Rotary has come here to do this program and give them opportunity to have access to medical doctors whom they can explain themselves to,” Folorunsho stated.