In accordance with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mandate of improving public health services in Nigeria, over 500 residents of Osogbo community, benefitted from a free medical outreach programme at the Orisunbare Market in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State located in South-West Nigeria.
The programme was organized with support from the Department of Community Medicine Osun State Teaching Hospital (UNIOSUN) Osogbo and the Osun State Ministry of Health.
The outreach was part of the events organized to commemorate WHO’s 75th anniversary.
Other highlights of celebration included a four kilometer Walk within the state capital, a radio call in programme at the Osun state University, and a commemoration visit to the traditional leader of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, to enlighten the people about the importance of achieving health for all in Nigeria.
Participants of the walk included the government health agencies, UNICEF, health partners, the Nigerian community including children.
A beneficiary of the outreach and a trader at the market, Mr Fafioye Ahmed Abiodun, says he heard about the outreach from the market announcer who was announcing the outreach around the market.
He thanked WHO and the government for the initiative of bringing health care services closer to the people.
“I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get screened.
I understand it is important to go for routine checks to enable early detection of diseases, but most traders like me find it difficult to leave our stalls to go to the hospital.
Mr Fafioye was screened for hypertension, random blood glucose, Covid 19 screening and had his BMI measurement.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Adebisi Iyabo, residing in Osogbo, who was at the market to buy groceries commended the intiative saying the outreach gives an opportunity for the everyone to know their health status.
She thanked the organisers for brining the services closer to the people and at no cost.
“I have not gone for a routine check in a while. It is a good initiative that will make many people know their health status as most people wait to go to the hospital only when they start having symptoms”, she says.
Mrs Adebisi had her blood pressure, random blood sugar, and BMI checked and also recieved Covid-19 vaccine.
Likewise, the female head of the market (Iya-Loja) Alhaja Latona Mujidat, who also benefited from the outreach, took it upon herself to raise awareness about the free medical programme.
Using her leadership position in the market, Mrs Latona advises other traders especially women, to check their health status and present their children for vaccination to protect everyone.
At the end of the outreach, over 500 beneficiaries from campaign and children were also not left out as over 37 received at least a vaccine antigen.
The WHO Osun State Coordinator, Dr Ahmed Bello says throughout the last 75 years, WHO has been striving to keep the world safe.
“The celebration is an opportunity to look back at public health successes that have improved the quality of life during the last seven decades. It is also an opportunity to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today and tomorrow.
The free medical outreach targeted the vulnerable members of the community, particularly women and children as well as the aged who cannot afford the cost of medical attention,” he explains.
Some of the services rendered included Routine Immunization (RI) vaccination integrated with Covid-19 vaccination and routine health screening (Blood Pressure, Random Blood Sugar, Body Mass Index, and Covid testing as well as health talks).
Congratulating WHO on her 75th WHO anniversary, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ooni), appreciated the international health organization for what it stands for, promoting health, keeping the world safe and serving the vulnerable.
He added that WHO has played a prominent role in reducing child and maternal death, combating infectious diseases such as polio, measles, yellow fever, cholera, Covid-19, and improving safe delivery practices among pregnant mothers in Osun state and Nigeria at large.
Furthermore, the Osun State Epidemiologist Dr Adeagbo and Consultant Doctor from the University of Osun Specialist Hospital Dr Peter during the Radio call-in- programme appreciated WHO for its support to Osun state and Nigeria in ensuring Nigeria attains Universal Health Coverage.