Akwanga (Nasarawa State) – The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), says it has so far treated about 500 rural dwellers in Nasarawa State of various ailments through its Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) programme.
Hajia Ramatu Sanda, Nasarawa State Coordinator of NYSC, stated this on Monday during the inauguration of 2020 HIRD Outreach in Gudi community, Akwanga Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Sanda said that the initiative was conceived years ago to address the health challenges of Nigerians, especially at the grassroots.
She expressed optimism that HIRD, which she said had gained acceptance among rural communities across the country, would sue for further collaboration with more organisations to enhance its activities.
“We want to acknowledge the support we enjoy from our various partners. It is our hope that this initiative will endure and be sustained for the benefit of all,” she said.
The state coordinator expressed gratitude to the host community for its massive support for the health initiative.
She disclosed that the 500 rural dwellers had also been offered counseling.
“I am grateful to members of the community for opening their doors for us and availing themselves for consultation, diagnosis, treatment and possible referral.
“Our goal is to see that the impact of this effort is fully felt in rural areas across the state,” she said.
She assured that other communities would also benefit from the programme, and appealed to the state government for more support to sustain the initiative.
In her remarks, Mr Josephine Tende, NYSC Zonal Inspector in charge of Akwanga LGA, said the community was selected due to the inability of residents to access health service in urban areas because of proximity.
“Also, when we brought the proposal here, the traditional council and the people happily received and encouraged us to come; and when we sourced for drugs, the pharmacies around here complied and gave us what they had,” she said.
In an interview with newsmen, Mr Aniako Chibuzor, Head of NYSC Medical Team and a Medical Radiographer, said apart from the language barrier, the initiative went smoothly.
Chibuzor said so far, more than 500 residents of the community had received treatment for various medical conditions such as Hypertension, Malaria, Typhoid, Ulcer, Sugar levels and Hepatitis, among others.
A beneficiary of HIRD and a resident of Gudi, Mr Husseini Shuaib,, expressed gratitude to God and the NYSC for the health care services to the community.
Shuaib expressed the hope that the initiative would be sustained and be replicated in other communities across the state.