By Adejumoke Alebiosu
The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Maj. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has stated that over two million rural dwellers have benefited from the NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD).
The DG disclosed this last Tuesday in Abuja when the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) unit of the NYSC flagged off its HIRD activities in Damaganza Hausawa rural community in Abuja.
Speaking in his welcome address, Ibrahim said he was very pleased that the NYSC HIRD programme was bringing healthcare services to the rural dwellers.
According to him, ‘I am pleased to report that so far over two million persons have been attended to by the NYSC medical teams on the HIRD platform in addition to the treatment of patients.
‘Driven by our determination to deepen the impact of our healthcare services, the management launched the NYSC-HIRD in 2014. It is a platform for contribution towards promoting the well-being of indigent persons at the grassroots by granting them easier access to free and quality healthcare.’
The NYSC boss added that the programme is largely implemented through medical outreaches in communities across the country, where corps medical volunteers carry out diagnosis, treatment, minor medical procedures, and referrals of patients, while drugs, eye glasses and other medical consumables are also given to patients free.
Ibrahim said the HIRD activities is ongoing simultaneously across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, adding that it will last for one week after which follow ups will be carried out.
The DG said: ‘The 2021 centrally coordinated the medical outreach with the theme: ‘Health is wealth for advancement’, which is taking place simultaneously in all states of the federation and the FCT, and will last for one week.
‘However, each NYSC state secretariat mobilises the corps medical teams to conduct follow up outreaches on quarterly basis with a view to increasing access for the benefitting communities.’
He used the opportunity to appeal for support from both well-spirited Nigerians and corporate bodies to achieve the scheme’s aim of expanding the programme.
‘Given our desire to expand the scope of the HIRD and make it more impactful, I wish to appeal for the support of corporate bodies and well-spirited individuals towards the actualisation of our plan of setting up mobile clinics for wider outreach,’ he added.
For his part, the FCT NYSC Coordinator, Suleiman Abdullahi, said the aim of the activity is to ensure that all rural dwellers within the FCT get their desired healthcare services.
The community leader of Damaganza Hausawa Community, Bello Musa, thanked the NYSC for choosing the community for the HIRD programme, and used the opportunity to seek more government assistance to the community in areas such as, water, electricity, schools and hospitals.