By Segun Giwa
Ikaram-Akoko (Ondo State – An NGO, MITEDA Wellness Initiative, has given free medical tests and treatments to 1,124 residents of Ikaram Akoko in Akoko Northwest Local Government Area of Ondo State and environs.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MITEDA Wellness Initiative, Mrs Funmilola Williams-Daudu, spoke with newsmen on the sidelines of the event on Thursday.
She said she initiated the annual programme to assist the underprivileged in her husband’s community, Ikaram-Akoko.
Williams-Daudu said the 9th edition of the programme, flagged off in 2013, but could not hold in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
She said it created opportunities for the people to know their health status.
Tests conducted on the people, mostly old women and peasant farmers, included hepatitis B and C, hypertension, blood sugar level, cervical cancer, prostate health, HIV, hyperlipidemia, oral health and eye defects.
Williams-Daudu, who described the turnout as awesome, said people trooped in as early as 6 a.m. from as far as Kogi and Akure.
She noted that the current administration in Ondo State was trying its best in terms of healthcare delivery, but noted that government could not do it alone and others must support to boost healthcare delivery.
“We have been able to achieve 92 per cent of our target, which is a very good mark. We actually screened; we didn’t just give treatment; we screened for diabetes, hypertension, malaria, oral health, eyes and we gave glasses and we recruited for festival of surgery that will be coming up in February 2023.
“So, we recruited people that needed eye surgery and people that needed glasses, they got drugs.
“Apart from the annual one that we are doing, we have been having festival of eye surgery in February and our partners, some of them will be coming in from the US, while the other partners from Nigeria will be joining.
“What I mean by partners is they are my friends and they believe in what I believe in. I would have loved to have this in all the Senatorial Districts, because we have structures on ground; my friends, my colleagues and they come in to give me their best.
“The funding mainly is from me and my husband. Some stakeholders had promised to support us in the next edition, all these are from my proceeds.
“I know that government can not do it alone, so we need to have lending hand to others.
Gov. Akeredolu is doing his best, if we have two or three people doing it the way we are doing it, Ondo State will be better.
“You see the kind of expert we have assembled into this town in the last three days, despite being a festive period, from Asaba, Ilorin, from FCT, I will ask people of like-minds to come together,” he said.
Ondo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Bunmi Osadahun, who represented the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, enjoined the people to always do medical checkup from time to time.
She commended Williams-Daudu for the free medical treatment, saying it would help the people a long way.
The husband, Chief Registrar of National Industrial Court, Barr. Olurotimi Williams-Daudu, disclosed that the medical festival was his wife’s initiative.
“We started this programme in 2013, we have been having it year in year out, except in 2020 when we had the outbreak of Corona virus. So for that reason, it could not hold that year.
“The credit is to my wife, because it was her idea. We are celebrating her birthday and what prompted her was the desire to help the needy, desire to collaborate with the government, to collaborate with government, knowing full well that government ,whether federal or state, or local government, cannot do it alone.
“Essentially, the desire that people live a healthy life, the desire to help those in need and cannot achieve good health care on their own,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Abu Ajayi, appreciated Williams-Daudu for the programme.
Ajayi said he came to do general test to prevent sudden death and was given attention by the medical team.
Likewise, Mrs Memunat Jimoh, another beneficiary, said she had been enjoying the treatment from inception.
The traditional ruler of the community, Akala of Ikaram-Akoko, Oba Andrew Momodu, appreciated the organisers for the health festival, confirming that it had helped a lot of people within and outside the community since inception.(NAN)