Thursday, April 28, 2016 9:56 pm
Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed the reason she embarked on free medical service under the aegis of ‘Future Assured Initiative’ for women and children in Nigeria. She stressed that she was not comfortable with the health condition of Nigerian women and children.
Aisha who disclosed this today at Loyola College, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State at the flag off of her pet project tagged, ‘Future Assured Initiative, aimed at providing free medical treatment to over 2,500 women and children’, said, “As you may all be aware, the health of women is not just a gender issue, rather it is also a major developmental issue that provides a basis for assessing the level of development of countries worldwide regardless of their wealth. The Nigeria situation in terms of the poor health outcomes for women and children prompted me as mother of the Nation to embark on advocacy towards improving the health and wellbeing of women and children in our dear country”.
She said that under her pet project, she had organized outreach screening programmes in all the six geo-political zones and other different interventions across the states. These target women and children with medical services such as blood pressure and blood sugar checks, eye and dental check up, cancers screening, genotype screening for sickle cell disease, de-warming of children and Vitamin A supplementation among others.
She disclosed that for women and children in Ibadan, she had chosen to provide medical services in the form of blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks, breast examination and cervical cancer screening as part of efforts at complementing government’s effort in providing health care services to the citizens of this country.
She added that in addition to the health benefits of the programme, the exercise was also intended to raise awareness on the importance of regular medical check ups, stressing that the initiative would contribute to attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well being of all.
She however called on Nigerian citizens to be proactive in seeking medical attention by going to health facilities for regular medical check ups noting, “even if they don’t have symptoms of diseases, this will allow for early detection of sickness and prompt initiation of treatment. Let me also call on all stakeholders responsible for providing health care services to ensure availability”.
In her speech, Florence, wife of Governor Abiola Ajimobi lamented the comatose’ state of the nation’s health sector, stressing that women bore the greatest brunt of the state of heath sector as they did not have the requisite access to proper healthcare.
She said, “One of the greatest problems facing us as women is that of managing our health. This is made worse by the fact that our health sector as a nation is in a comatose state and women bear the greater brunt of these shortcomings as they do not have the requisite access to proper healthcare. There is need for urgent intervention as we cannot continue to watch our women die daily from preventable causes”.
Florence disclosed that the beneficiaries would be screened for breast and cervical cancers as well as tested for high blood sugar and high blood pressure, stressing that the exercise can reduce mortality in women, caused by these four killer diseases.
She noted, “Women by our nature and design are very resilient and most times we over- stretch ourselves to the detriment of our health. We fire on all cylinders and hardly pause to give our bodies the necessary check-up, after putting them through so much stress resulting in gradual wear and tear and eventually a system breakdown which manifests as illness in different forms. A screening programme of this nature is therefore very important in ensuring that women know the state of their bodies and remain on top of their health. We as women must begin to take charge of our lives and our health as this is important in achieving our overall agenda of gender parity and women emancipation. It is only a woman who is healthy that can fight for equality and maintain her stand as an independent force to be reckoned with”.
Also, Governor Ajimobi stressed that it was the responsibility of governments and well-meaning individuals to put in place effective operating systems to properly manage prevalent and evolving health issues. He added that such an arrangement thus requires competence in the areas of health intervention activities, manpower and adequate infrastructure. “What we are witness to today is one of such phenomenal contributions to the health system,” he said.