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About 480 residents of Ilora community in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State were beneficiaries of the free medical service offered by the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates’ Confraternity).

Date- 4th February, 2016

The medical outreach organised by the Pyrates’ Confraternity with support from the Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, featured eye test, blood pressure test, general health check-up and free administration of drugs.

International President, National Association of Seadogs, Mr Ifeanyi Onochie, remarked that the medical mission, which is part of the cardinal objectives of the organisation, was aimed at giving people in rural communities access to primary health care.

Community News observed that about 70 per cent of those that turned out for the health programme, had eye defects such as cataract, glaucoma, partial and total blindness. About 100 eye glasses were given out. Investigation into the trend revealed that many cases of the eye defects were not unconnected with the high consumption of unprocessed cassava by the people of the community while others took to self-administration of eye drops.

Onochie decried the neglect of many rural communities by government at all levels, thereby putting rural dwellers at a disadvantage position in accessing quality healthcare. In addressing this trend, he disclosed that the association was now embarking on a monthly medical mission as against the quarterly programme. He, however, expressed satisfaction with the turnout of residents, noting that the programme would impact on the health of many people. Onochie also pointed out that the organisation was set to carry out a large scale campaign against the current Lassa and Zika health challenges around the world.

The traditional head of the host community, the Akinbio of Ilora, Oba Stephen Oyeniyi Olufemi, while flagging off the programme, noted that the medical mission would have great impact on the health of the people in the 19 villages in and around Ilora community. He, therefore, called for more of such medical interventions to aid the healthy living of his subjects.

The medical consultant to the confraternity, Dr Oteri Joseph, hinted that the programme was meant to address the health challenges of all categories of people. He, however, noted that referrals were made for patients with severe ailments and those who require surgery.

Mrs D. A. Salako, who was diagnosed of cataract in her eye, was referred to a general hospital. Another beneficiary, Mrs Oyedunni Oyewole, was attended to for general body aches. Oyewole, like many other patients, received drugs that would last her for two weeks. Beneficiaries expressed their appreciation for the programme, saying it would go a long way in improving their health status.

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