The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will on Friday, flag off a free healthcare programme targeted at combating organ impairment and life-threatening ailments among children.
The initiative falls within the pillar in the Governor’s vision to improve access to quality healthcare in the state.
The programme will be held in seven Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state for six days, during which beneficiaries will be screened and treated for observed illnesses.
The free medical mission is being held in collaboration with Healthcare Mission International, a Republic of Ireland-based non-governmental organisation (NGO).
At a press briefing by the Ministry of Health, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Titilayo Goncalves said the programme signalled the implementation phase of Sanwo-Olu’s healthcare initiative.
She said the medical outreach was targeted at children between ages 0 to 12, stressing that the choice of the demographic was strategic, because of the need to protect the children from the sickness that may impede their potential.
Executive Director of the NGO, Mrs Nike Osa, said the promotion of children’s health was an important part of the organisation’s goals. She said the partnership with the Sanwo-Olu administration was necessary to enable the Lagos government meet the Item Three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to realise universal health coverage for children and reduce poverty.
She said: “The Government of Lagos recognition of the prime place of children in the survival of humanity, informed the reason the Government graciously offered to collaborate with Healthcare Mission International to make our children healthier. The programme will involve screening children for visual and hearing impairments, and other ailments that can negatively impede their capacity to study.
“Those found to have visual or hearing impairments will be provided with glasses and hearing aids to help them overcome the condition. Even though children are the prime targets of this programme, vulnerable adults will also be given health counselling and screening for tuberculosis and HIV. Those found to be positive will be managed using the established channel of treatment of these illnesses.”
She added that those whose conditions may require higher medical examinations and surgeries will be taken to the tertiary healthcare facilities for the exercise free of charge.
The healthcare programme will take place at Ajara PHC in Badagry, Akerele PHC in Surulere, Ikotun PHC in Alimosho, Iga Iduganran PHC on Lagos Island, Epe PHC in Epe, Onigbongo PHC in Ikeja, and Ita-Elewa PHC in Ikorodu.
Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Tayo Lawal said 100,000 children were expected to benefit from the medical initiative, saying each of the designated primary healthcare centres was expected to attend to thousands of beneficiaries throughout the exercise.
He added that the programme was fully funded by the NGO, noting that the government would only be providing healthcare facility for the exercise.