Yet just as it is not possible for a nation to be solely responsible for the education of its citizenry, so also it is imperative for individuals, corporate bodies, agencies, non governmental organisations among others to complement government’s effort to achieve the goal of ensuring that people are healthy.
Therefore when a non-governmental organisation, Seri Care Foundation (SCARF) a pet project of the wife of Osun State governor, Alhaja Sherifat Abidemi Aregbesola decided to wipe away the tears of over 500 people suffering from various ailments, their joy knew no bounds.
The passion for people with one ailment or the other but lacked the fund to undertake the medical treatment of the diseases informed the medical outreach embarked upon by the woman who has concern for the well being of the down trodden.
Having gathered that there are people suffering silently in the hands of such ailments like lumps; hernia, hydrocele, ganglion among others and cannot afford the fund to get themselves treated by medical professionals, Alhaja Aregbesola took it upon herself to find solution to their predicament by organising a health outreach sponsored by her foundation.
Seri Care Foundation (SCARF) organised a three-day medical surgery outreach between Wednesday, January 28 and Friday, January 30, 2015 where no fewer than 530 persons were operated and treated free-of- charge.
They were also provided with drugs free-of-charge while those with complicated cases were referred to teaching hospitals for further surgery and treatment on the bill of the organisation.
Three beneficiaries of the medical outreach were each referred to teaching hospitals for further medical examination and treatment. One of the patients was referred to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital,Osogbo, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife and University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan for further treatment.
The surgery operation which took place at the Oke-Baale Primary Health Centre, Osogbo was initially meant to focus exclusively on the treatment of breast lump for about 300 patients but the unprecedented crowd that responded to the radio and television announcement of the programme forced the organiser to exceed its initial figure and at the end of the third day, 530 persons went through surgery.
Surprised by the unprecedented crowd that turned out for the medical outreach, out of passion, the organiser is proposing having the second phase of the programme sometimes in June this year to take care of those that could not benefit under the first phase.
The medical team that performed the surgery was drawn from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), University College Hospital (UCH), Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, LAUTECH, Osogbo with support from Osun State medical team led by Dr. Segun Laogun.
The equipment used was purchased by the foundation with an indication that the outreach will be a continuous exercise as soon as its finances improve.
Performing the flagging off of the medical outreach, the founder and wife of the governor, Alhaja Serifat Aregbesola appealed to the state lawmakers to expedite action on the passage of primary healthcare bill so that the state can join others in benefitting from the implementation of the National Primary Health Care Act.
She explained that the programme was meant to assist the people whose daily lives are threatened by these conditions, adding that this is the second time the foundation will embark on such mission.
Alhaja Aregbesola noted that the maiden health programme by the foundation was to benefit the elderly persons and the children and took upon itself the responsibility for the payment of medical bill of a child who was treated for heart impairment.
She said, “I thank God Almighty for the reality of the programme. It is by His grace that the programme which is designed to bring joy into the homes of our people is holding. The focus of the programme was initially exclusively for the treatment of breast lump. This was to assist women and create awareness on combating the scourge of breast cancer.
“We believe in the golden principle of reaching out to the needy and the under-served. Our objective is to contribute our quota towards enhancing the standard of living of our people who critically require basic needs of life. We believe this will help to compliment the development efforts of the state government.
“As it is well known that health is the most important need that every human being requires and it is upon this belief that the board and management of this foundation resolved to put in place this medical outreach.”
She explained that her foundation was committed to ensuring that the people of the state live healthy life irrespective of their economic situation and social status. Mrs. Aregbesola declared that the management of the foundation has “however, resolved to expand the coverage to include other cases following reports from the medical team that quite a number of men also suffer from such diseases which are different from breast lumps.
The head of the medical team, Dr. Okikiola Alaba from LUTH explained that most of the beneficiaries of the surgery operation cannot in any way afford the cost, adding Alhaja Aregbesola out of passion has promised to ensure that the second phase comes up in June this year.
Also speaking, Dr. Segun Laogun posited that a huge sum of money had gone into the project which cannot be quantified, adding that a lot of people were locked inside suffering for one ailment or the other and lacked money for treatment of their cases.
He therefore appealed to those that could not be attended to during the first phase of the programme that their roll calls had been taken and registered, adding that they will be the first to be attended to under the second phase.
The chairman of Osogbo Local Government Council under whose domain the programme was carried out, Mr. Isiaka Faramade appreciated the wife of the Governor for the gesture describing the exercise as unique.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Aderolake Ajao was full of appreciation for Mrs. Aregbesola, saying that the state government under the watch of her husband, Rauf Aregbesola has brought succor to lot of people
through his people oriented programmes and policies since his assumption of office.
She recalled her agonizing experience before the intervention, adding that if not for the free programme she would have continued to suffer till death comes.