By Franca Ofili
No fewer than 300 residents of a community in Karu, Abuja, benefitted from free medical screening provided by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Better Brothers International Association, (BBIA).
Mr Mebrim Okechuku, President of the Association, who disclosed this on Saturday, in Abuja, said that the aim of the association was to offer free health care to communities and the less privileged, who cannot afford medical care.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the screening was carried out at St Rita Catholic Church, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, involving blood pressure test, sugar tests, general body test, blood glucose test and giving out of free drugs to both the elderly and children.
In addition, medical counseling, health talk, COVID-19 vaccines, as well as checking for symptoms of tuberculosis were also provided.
Okechuku said that the association was also collaborating with some pharmacies and laboratories, to handle any follow up from the screening.
“From the test we are conducting, the results showed that people do not visit the hospital to know their health conditions. Their data have been collected, so that we can do follow-up, especially in case of emergencies,” he said.
He added that the association had intended screening about 500 people, rain disrupted attendance.
Okechuku advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of visiting the hospital to know their health conditions, rather than relying on herbal medicine which may be good, but harmful if not properly used.
” Most people place more attention to things that are not life sustainable, what we are seeing here shows Nigerians neglect a lot about their health.
” Herbal medicine, when not safely used, can affect the liver and as such will over work the liver,” Okechuku said.
He said that the screening exercise was the phase one, intended to be carried out in one of the communities in Nasarawa, but the association was advised against it due to issues of insecurity.
Mr Chianumba Ikechukwu, Secretary General of the association, described health management as an aspect of health that most Nigerians either neglected or were naïve about.
He added that managing one’s health did not necessarily mean buying expensive drugs, eating a lot or visiting the clinics very often, rather it was the ability to first know one’s health status, what to eat, the fruits and vegetables and resting properly, alongside routine medical checkups.
“We are creating awareness for Self-Health Management, as it is the surest way to ensure a long and qualitative life.,” he said.
Mr Paul Sunday, a recipient, who spoke to NAN, said that he was happy for the kind gesture of the association, especially after the test that indicated that his blood pressure was high and he was never aware of it.
” I thank God because this has taught me to take care of my health. I am so happy for what the association is doing in my community, God bless them,” he said.
Mrs Ruth Obiora said she had taken the test for tuberculosis and prayed the result would be negative, while urging Nigerian to always avail themselves of such opportunities, as it would go a long way in addressing their health issues.
She also called on other organisations to carry out such exercises in order to assist the less privileged. (NAN)