No fewer than 2000 residents of the Ilaje Ajah community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State benefited from the Nigerian Army free medical outreach weekend, as part of activities to mark the annual Nigerian Army day.
Free medical services such as malaria tests, high blood pressure and sugar level screening, including diabetes and eye tests were conducted by Military doctors, at mobile hospitals constructed for that purpose.
Thereafter, appropriate drugs were administered while reading glasses were given to those with eye-related problems. However, those whose eye problems were beyond reading glasses were referred to Military and specialist hospitals.
Speaking while flagging off of the medical outreach, General Officer Commanding, GOC 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Lawrence Fejokwu, said the medical outreach was aimed among other objectives, to interact and impact the community.
The gesture, which he said was on the directive of the Chief of Army Staff, was part of the Army’s Corporate Social Responsibility and by extension, aimed at soliciting information that would help the Army and other security agencies deal with security threats.
Addressing members of the community who came out in their numbers with expressions of surprise on their faces, at the sight of Military personnel in their domain, the GOC said, “We are using this opportunity to come to the communities so that when you see us on the road, you will not be scared. We are friendly as you can see and we like to mix up with people at every level, that is why we have decided to come and spend the whole of today with residents of Ilaje Ajah”.
“The Chief of Army Staff has directed us to come and stay with you here and do the little we can. You can see we have set up our mobile hospital, where we will be providing a limited level of medical care, you can go and check for some ailments, doctors and nurses are there, the ones they can treat you now, they will, while they will refer to another hospital, where necessary”.
Fielding questions from journalists on the choice of the Ilaje Ajah community among others in Lagos, Maj. Gen Fejokwu said, “ We are in Ajah because it is a community that has a large water body not quite far from here and those are areas where we could have threats. So, we try to partner with communities along the waterways.
“We want the people in the community to know us, know what the Army stands for and also use the opportunity to solicit information from them to enable security agencies to deal with security threats”.
The GOC further explained that outreach was in different forms, depending on the size of the community. He stated that it could take the form of sharing of palliative, sensitization or enlistment of beneficiaries into the Military.
But he said the Army decided to do medical rhapsody because of the need for people to know their health status.
He said, “ Most people do not really know their health status. Some people may be going around without knowing they have high blood pressure, sugar problems or any other ailments. So we put up a mobile laboratory where they are tested and advised.
Those that can be treated here will be treated while those whose cases need referral will be referred. At the end of the day, those who have health issues will know they have a problem and will begin to tackle it immediately.”
” As part of our corporate social responsibility, our specialist hospitals, military hospitals are open to civilians, so if they see the need to refer them there, they can and if they also have a General specialist hospital around here which will be easily accessible to them, they will be referred there, ” he added.”
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