21,000 Children to Benefit from LASG, NGOs Free Medical Services

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Ayodeji Ake

The Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Healthcare Mission International (HMI), have commenced free medical intervention for children from age 12 and below to combat organ impairment and life-threatening ailments.

Addressing journalists at the Lagos Press Centre, recently, the Permanent Secretary, Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Tayo Lawal noted that the free health intervention will include free screening and surgeries to ensure sound health for children.

Lawal added that the exercise was another form of advocacy to Lagos residents for them to visit primary healthcare centres to treat minor ailments and not wait till it becomes serious.

He said: “This is a welcome development for us. We are going to screen some people. The activity is divided into screening and surgical. There will be screening for eye, dental and others issues. Identified surgical cases will be profiled to appropriate general hospitals.

“We will also give free drugs and some will be treated free. We want people to be using the primary healthcare facilities for minor ailment. We shouldn’t wait till the ailment grows to something bigger.

“We are hoping that on a daily basis, nothing less than a thousand people will be attended to. At the end of the exercise, we should roughly target 21,000 and the age bracket is zero to 12 years.

“The screening will commence in seven strategic PHCs. The screening exercise will last for six days from August 5, while the programme generally will last four weeks.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lagos State, Dr. Titilayo Gonclaves, said the initiative was a welcome idea to ensure health safety for Lagos children.

“The governor has healthcare as one of his pledge. The health insurance scheme has been launched but we have realised that about 52 per cent of Lagosians could not afford healthcare treatment.

“Our partnership will extend to the vulnerable. We know that health is wealth. There are projects targeted at children because we want them to grow up healthy. They are the future of Lagos state,” she said.

The Executive Director, HMI, Mrs. Nike Osa, applauded the Lagos State Government for partnership towards achieving health safety, especially for children in the state.

She said: “HMI is a nonprofit organisation that assists the poor and vulnerable by providing lifesaving medical humanitarian care where it is needed most.

“This informed why Lagos State has graciously offered to collaborate with HMI to make our children healthier through screening for visual and hearing impairments, and other problems that could negatively impact their capacity to study.”