Adibe Emenyonu writes that the less privileged in Benin City got screened for diabetes and hypertension
Clarus Eremosele is an auto-mechanic. He has worked in his vocation for 15 years. Throughout this time attending to customers in his workshop on Iyase road, Eremosele had never gone to the hospital for a check-up on his own, except when he’s forced to do so when he falls ill. He blames this on exorbitant charges by the hospitals.
“How much do I make from my job to be visiting hospital to pay huge money for medical check-ups?” he asked.
For the likes of Eremosele, feeding the children and sending them to school is the utmost priority. Therefore, they see regular medical check-ups as an additional burden, and that is why for most of them, “it is God that protects.”
But today, for Eremosele who until now could not afford the money to go to the hospital for screening, in order to be abreast of his health, the Dr. Owen Jackson-Obaseki Foundation has taken up the challenge to assist him and many others, especially the less privileged people by sceening them for diabetes and blood sugar count - two major killer diseases that cut through the barriers of age and colour.
Since inception 16 years ago, the Dr. Owen Jackson Obaseki Foundation had dedicated its energy to poverty alleviation and health sector, which targets majorly the poor, sick and needy in the society.
In line with this objective, the 2012 edition of the organisation’s free medicare focused on blood sugar count and diabetes, for which over 148 men and women underwent free check-ups that enabled them know their health status.
“I feel happy because the foundation has given me information on how to live. For instance, now I know that I have to stop drinking alcohol, as it could increase my blood sugar, which in turn can complicate the state of my health,” said Damilola Aderemola, a beneficiary.
Another beneficiary of the programme, Ms. Emofomwan Deborah, said before the medical check-up she did not know that she was diabetic, but that with the help of the foundation she has a new knowledge about her health status.
In his response, the chairman of the foundation, Mr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki said: “The goal behind the gesture is to impact positively on the poor and the needy segment of the society whilst creating awareness on the twin killer diseases, diabetes and hypertension,” adding “the trustees are currently in the process of putting structures in place to outlive us. We believe that the good Lord will guide us through this identified path.”
Gaius-Obaseki, who is also the chairman of Brass Liquefied Natural Gas Company (BLNG), further noted that though the founder of the foundation, Dr. Owen Jackson Obaseki is no more alive, his work continues to live after him.
The foundation, according to him, did not embark on free medical check-ups alone. He disclosed that since inception, hundreds of medical students have benefited from scholarships and grants of the Dr. Owen Jackson Obaseki Foundation (OJOBAF) to study medicine at University of Benin (UNIBEN) and Ambrose Ali University (AAU), Ekpoma. In addition, he said that the foundation has donated an average of 300 stethoscopes to medical/dental students of both institution of higher learning annually.