….records over 2million beneficiaries
The National Youth Service Corps has restated its commitment to promoting the well-being of indigent persons at the grassroots by granting them easier access to free and quality healthcare.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim stated this today while flagging off the 2021 Nationwide NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers at Damagazan Hausawa Village, Karu in Abuja.
The programne with the theme; “Health is Wealth For Advancement”, is holding simultaneously in all the States of the Federation.
The DG said more than two million people had benefited from previous medical outreaches in different communities across the country.
He added that the programne was implemented through the Corps Medical Volunteers, who càrried out diagnosis, treatment and referrals of patients.
“In addition to the treatment of patients, the medical outreaches also feature sensitization of community members on disease prevention and care.”
“Drugs, eye glasses and other medical consumables are also given to patients free of charge”.
“Furthermore, the Scheme has donated over 300 wheelchairs with the support of partners through this programme”, lbrahim said.
The Director-General added that the NYSC Scheme has recorded numerous landmark achievements in the area of national unity and integration, as well as other spheres such as healthcare delivery, rural infrastructure, mass literacy, education, sports and other social services.
He said the Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers which was launched in 2014 has recorded a huge success through the activities of successive batches of Corps Members, whose patriotic zeal, dedication and selflessness have been a source of pride to all Nigerians.
Ibrahim said other approaches to the implementation of the HIRD programme include; the establishment of community-based clinics, setting up of clinics for the NYSC Secretariats, first aid administration and humanitarian aid.
He said apart from the HIRD, Corps Members have for decades been using other NYSC Community Development Service platforms to make health-related interventions, including medical outreaches, health surveys, construction of cottage clinics and renovation of other health facilities.
He listed other areas of intervention by the Scheme to include; campaign against HIV/AIDS, malaria control, guinea worm eradication, immunization against measles, poliomyelitis and other child-killer diseases, as well as the prevention of Ebola Virus disease.
“Our contributions to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic have also attracted widespread commendations.”
“While the nation was on lockdown, we harnessed the talents of Corps Members for various interventions, including mass production and donation of face masks, antiseptic liquid soaps and hand sanitizers through the FCT Administration and State Governments all over the federation”.
“Corps Members’ interventions also included the donation of food and other palliative items to indigent persons, sensitization of the public on prevention and control measures, decontamination of public premises and the conduct of free virtual lessons nationwide for students in exit classes of JSS3 and SS3”, he added.
Ibrahim stated that the introduction of HIRD and other platforms by the NYSC has recorded improved reproductive health, reduction of maternal and infant mortality, as well as maintenance and improvement of health infrastructure.
He lauded the Federal and State Ministry of Health, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization, the Society for Family Health International and other International and Non-Governmental Organisations, Pharmaceutical companies and public-spirited individuals for their supporting the Scheme.
He however appealed for support from corporate bodies and well-to-do individuals towards actualizing the Scheme’s plan of setting up Mobile Clinics for wider outreach for indigent Nigerians.
Ibrahim urged Nigerians who reside in the localities, where the outreaches are taking place to avail themselves of the free medical services.
In his address, the NYSC FCT Coordinator, Alhaji Sulaiman Abdul said the Secretariat would ensure that the rural dwellers in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, get the desired healthcare throughout the year.
In his vote of thanks, the Damagazan Hausawa Village Head, Malam Bello Musa commended the NYSC Management and Corps Members for their kind gesture.