The Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP), says it has administered free medical treatment on 1,000 residents of Toge and Gosa communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
COFP Programme and Operations Manager, Mr Austin Nnakwe, made this known to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of its medical outreach to mark the 2019 World Day of Prayer and Action for Children. in commemoration of the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child.
NAN reports that the theme of 2019’s celebration is:“Investing in Child’s Health: Our Priority.”
“We are here in Toge community for a medical outreach and this is to mark the world day for children, which is celebrated universally on November 20.
“And it is in response that we had also mapped out plans to celebrate a day of prayer and action for children, where religious men and women are called together to pray and also work towards making the society a better place for the children.
“Also in response to the day of prayer and action for children, the Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace has picked it up as a duty to visit some of these outskirts such as Toge where throughout our tour round this community we have not seen any basic health facility.
“We have decided to take care of the children and offer them free medical attention and also the adults who we have seen here because to get to the children we also reached out to the parents.
“And we are attending to 1,000 patients both in this community and the next community where we are going to visit.
“We are also visiting Gosa, to carry out the same programme for them,” he said.
Also, Rev. Sister Rose Confidence Amaku, Personnel Manager, COFP, appealed to the Federal Government to support the efforts of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) towards ensuring that children have their basic need for healthy living and comfort.
“A child should have that right to education, a child should feed well, and also a child should be healthy.
“We are appealing that the government should provide for this children with the life necessities that will help them.
“We, as private organisation or NGOs, cannot just fold our hands and be waiting for government to do everything.
“ We are just contributing that we also help mankind to be healthy, to be free from diseases and be happy human beings.”
A COFP Health Officer, Dr Ndubuisi Clement, said the team of medical personnel were conducting tests and treating of the beneficiaries for common diseases, adding that they would always refer those they could not handle.
Clement listed some of the common diseases to include: Malaria, Typhoid, and infections such as cough and catarrh; skin diseases, Hepatitis, pregnancy test and eyesight problems.
According to him, NGOs are doing their best, but emphasised the need for the government to set up a primary healthcare centre in the affected communities.
“If there is one, we can donate these drugs to the centre and the patients can always go back there for a follow-up,” he said.
Mrs Esther Okonkwo, Assistant Head Teacher of LEA Primary School, Toge – Sabo thanked the Foundation on behalf of the staff of the school, praying God to continue to bless them as they continue to give back to society.
One of the beneficiaries of the outreach, Mr Mohammed Kabir, said such an outreach would go a long way towards addressing common diseases in his community.
Kabir called on the government to provide the community with basic amenities, adding that the authorities should also support the efforts of well-meaning Nigerians and NGOs towards improving indigent people’s living conditions.
NAN reports that the children received a bouncing castle, snacks and drinks, and clothing and shoes from the Foundation as gifts.