A non-governmental and non-partisan organization, SHIFT Nigeria, at the weekend provided free medical services to over 300 residents of Ikorodu, Lagos State in furtherance of its commitment to promote health equity in semi-urban and rural communities in Nigeria.
Through their targeted initiatives such as Make Change, SHIFT Nigeria inspires and enables community transformation across Nigeria. Shift Nigeria engages members of different Nigerian communities to amplify their voices on issues they face and provide resources needed to address those underlying issues.
Tagged 'Ikorodu Health Drive 2.0, the free medical programme held on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at the Ikorodu Mini Stadium, Ita Elewa, Ikorodu, pulled a large turnout of residents from ages eight and above, with many of them making their way to the venue as early as 7 am. This outreach was the 2nd iteration held in Ikorodu.
The free medical services rendered at the outreach included blood pressure screening, pulse oximeter, prostate and breast cancer screening including prostate-specific antigen test, cervical and digital rectal examination, HIV and hepatitis B screening, and visual acuity (eye) examination with the provision of free glasses for 300 Ikorodu residents.
The medical outreach organized by SHIFT Nigeria was handled by a team of qualified medical professionals comprising doctors from various specialities, ophthalmologists, nurses, pharmacists, medical laboratory scientists and other allied practitioners. Ikorodu residents who benefitted from this outreach have opportunity for follow-on consultations with these medical practitioners. This free healthcare initiative by SHIFT Nigeria, according to experts, represented a laudable step toward closing the current demand-supply gap in the country’s health sector.
According to the latest World Bank figure, Nigeria’s public spending on healthcare amounts to just 3.75% of its $495bn Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in contrast to South Africa's 8.25% and 5.17% in Kenya. Speaking during the medical outreach, the Executive Director, SHIFT Nigeria, Kameel ‘Demola Dada, said SHIFT is a non-partisan organization focused on inspiring and enabling community transformation across Nigeria.
He disclosed that one of the ways, SHIFT Nigeria fulfills its mission is through the provision of free medical consultations, screening, and medications, fostering health awareness and promoting the well-being of residents in underserved and unserved semi-urban and rural communities. According to Mr. Dada, Healthcare is pivotal to national development, and this is why the free healthcare initiative is a well-focused intervention in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Universal healthcare is a key component of the SDGs (Goal 3), which is to ensure healthy life and promote well-being for all at all ages. Mr. Dada added that SHIFT Nigeria remains committed to reducing the access gap and ensuring healthcare for all.
Additionally, Mr. Dada indicated SHIFT Nigeria reaffirms its support for collaborative efforts aimed at achieving universal health coverage and the organization is looking to further partner with critical stakeholders and government at all levels. He stressed the need for more public-private collaboration to bridge the gaps across key sectors of the economy, and more importantly in the provision of basic social amenities such as health and education.
Mr. Dada stated: "I commend the Lagos State Government for its commitment and various initiatives to widen access and provide quality healthcare services for residents of the state. Mr. Dada also stated that a lot more targeted healthcare efforts are essential to reducing health disparity and ensuring access to basic medical interventions. At SHIFT Nigeria, we believe support for other stakeholders including corporate organizations, non-governmental organizations and individuals can go a long way in increasing the number of Ikorodu residents who have access to quality, consistent, and affordable healthcare.” He added that, "It is time we collaborate with the government to accelerate the development of our communities and improve the quality of life whilst ensuring basic services reach more people in our communities."
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