The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has unveiled a mobile health service initiative intended to serve the interests of people living in rural communities across the country.
The initiative dubbed Integrated National Mobile/Field Hospital Initiative for Humanitarian Intervention and Social Response Project/Partnership Outreach was unveiled in partnership with the International Federation on Aging Nigeria (IFAN).
Shortly after the inauguration in Abuja, NYSC Director of Community Development and Special Projects, Abdulrazaque Salahu, denounced the pitiful situation in which most people in rural areas of the country struggle to access medical facilities.
He noted that the corps, in its efforts to improve access, ensure that doctors, laboratory scientist pharmacists and members of the corps in relevant fields are taken to a particular community within an area of local government to deal with health cases during the year of their service to their homeland.
Salahu said the reason for embarking on the initiative was to use the knowledge base of the NYSC program to further improve the health and well-being of our people, especially those who live in areas without health care. adequate.
He said, “What we do at NYSC because we have a lot of these kids who are doctors, pharmacists and lab scientists is to bring them together both those who have studied in Nigeria and abroad to undertake medical visits to communities and administer medical services to people.”
He said what the NYSC “does is to first educate people about the program, letting them know that they are coming for their medical needs.”
He said Corps members generally make do with whatever accommodation the community can provide in order to carry out the medical mission.
Salahu said the experience was very eye-opening as it revealed salient issues regarding gaps in health care delivery in the country.
For example, he said his experience in one such outreach program in a community in Plateau State saw the team discover so many people infected with HIV on the first day of the week-long program .
“After the opening ceremony and we started the tests, do you believe the results came in, in just one hour we saw that over 30 people were infected with HIV and they didn’t know it. We therefore immediately sent a report to the governor for the authorities to intervene and take the necessary measures to stop the spread”.
Salahu said the NYSC is ready to provide health services to rural residents, but needs the support of federal, state, LGA and private sector organizations to sustain this laudable initiative.
For his part, IFAN President, Mr. Ike Nwobu said that the overall mission of the health initiative is to use the human capital, organizational capacity and vast network of the NYSC to improve the delivery of health services. national health services to the population, in particular in regions lacking hospital infrastructures.
He said: “It will be a rapid health service support framework for universal health coverage, primary health care, roadside clinics and a vehicle to provide a national disaster relief force. health/humanitarian with capacity and content in health entrepreneurship initiative, poverty reduction and employment. generation.
“The initiative will help optimize/maximize our huge extended diasporas; harness the skills/wisdom of health/health professionals through an intergenerational relationship with young people and promote the culture of volunteerism, community development and corporate social responsibility in our national health care delivery – a major culture/system of development and building national resilience.”
“The medical outreach initiative has the potential to bring about an unprecedented turnaround in the health care delivery system and the achievement of universal health coverage in Nigeria.”