By Aderemi Bamgbose
Igodan – Careerbridge Foundation, a US based NGO, says no fewer than 5,000 Ikale indigenes in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, have benefited from its free health medical outreach tagged “Ikele Medical Outreach”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that patients were screened and treated for malaria, typhoid, malnutrition, diarrhea, hypertension, sugar level, diabetes, arthritis, cataracts and other eye defects with free eye glasses and free drugs.
NAN also reports that the programme, which is the third edition, was organised in collaboration with Mr Akintomide Akinrogunde, a member, representing Okitipupa Constituency 1 in the Ondo State House of Assembly.
Mr Modupe Olowodahunsi, the Chief Executive Officer, Careerbridge Foundation, told journalists that more than 5,000 residents had been screened, treated while free drugs and eye glasses had been dispensed to them.
Olowodahunsi, who is also an Ikale indigene, said that the quest to ensure that his people were always in good health informed his decision to start the free healthcare programme in 2017.
“People are dying of minor sicknesses and diseases, which ordinarily, should not lead to death. I took this up in order to give free healthcare to the people to augment what government is doing.
“We have screened, treated and dispensed drugs to more than 5,000 patients in the three-day programme, as we have 50 medical experts on ground to tackle the crowd headlong.
“We also thank Akinrogunde, who has partnered with us in this year’s edition. We are also looking for government and private support with genuine interest to sustain the programme,” Olowodahunsi said.
Also speaking, Akinrogunde said that he partnered with Careerbridge Foundation as a way of giving back to his constituency.
“Our people are ignorant of their health issues. I see this free screening and treatment of minor sicknesses and diseases as a good forum one brought to their doorsteps,” Akinrogunde said.
Dr Victor Alabi, the head of the medical team, who said that the patients at the programme were cooperative with the health personnel and were responding well to treatment.
“The patients are responding well and the 50 of us in the medical team are all experts in our different fields and we are up to the task,” he said.
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries of the free medical outreach lauded the organisers and urged them to sustain the programme, even as they implored the state government to support the initiative.
Mrs Omolola Jengbaye, who was screened and treated for malaria, said she was happy to be part of the programme, while Chief Sylvester Ogayemi, who was screened for hypertension, said the programme was an eye opener as he was educated and given drugs.
Another patient, Mr Kola Adeyehun, who was screened for cataracts and given free eye glasses, also urged government to support such initiative and improve healthcare system in Ikaleland.
NAN reports that the three-day free medical outreach, which began on Monday, held at Igbotako, Iju-Odo and Igodan Lisa in Okitipupa LGA.