Benin – No fewer than 6,000 persons in Edo South Senatorial District are to benefit from free medical outreach organised by a Benin-based group, Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO).
The Executive Director of LAPO, Mrs Sabina Idowu-Osehobo, made the disclosure on Thursday during a medical outreach at Utesi Community, Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo.
Idowu-Osehobo said that the free medical outreach done annually was aimed at bringing relief to poor people in rural communities, who might not have access to medical care.
“This year, we have given medical care to about 2,000 persons in rural communities at Uhunmwonde L.G.A.
“We are also targeting 2,000 persons in Utesi Community and another 2,000 persons in another community in the same local government.
“As at Wednesday, about 500 persons have been examined by our team of doctors in Utesi Community, and free drugs have been administered.
“The annual outreach is expected to go round all the L.G.A.s in the state in subsequent years,” she said.
The executive director said that the health need of rural dwellers was huge, and called on other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to support the cause.
“So far, we have found that the health need of persons in rural areas is huge, and most of them do not have money to access care.
“The free medical outreach is something good; we need to sustain it, but we need the support of NGOs and L.G.A.s as the cost is enormous,” she said.
The Head of the LAPO Free Medical Team, Dr David Osifo, said that about 26 persons in Utesi Community were referred to University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for surgeries.
Osifo, who is a Consultant Surgeon in UBTH, said that health challenges of communities visited included malaria, ulcers, tumors, sickle cell anaemia, hookworm infestation and skin diseases.
He said that the medical outreach also included health education on balanced diet, personal hygiene and disease prevention.
Some beneficiaries and other residents of the council area, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended LAPO for the kind gesture.
The Acting Chairman of the L.G.A., Mr Austin Odigie, said that the free medical outreach would go a long way to reduce the health burden of the community.
He urged collaboration of LAPO with the local government in renovating health centres in the community.
NAN reports that the free medical outreach in Ovia North East L.G.A. began on Nov. 2. It is expected to end on Nov. 5.