3,615,000 Nigerians have benefitted so far from the National Youth Service Corps Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers since its inception in 2014.
This was made known by the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, during the inauguration of the first quarter 2024 Special HIRD/Mobile Healthcare Intervention Programme at Gosa-Sarki, a community in the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday.
He said the initiative reached out to people by sensitising them on causes and prevention of diseases, treatment of ailments and referrals.
According to him, the target is to reach at least 500,000 additional beneficiaries this year, adding that the initiative is the platform through which the NYSC cater for the health needs of people in rural communities, especially those who have little or no access to quality healthcare.
He added that the scheme was deploying resources at its disposal to complement the Federal Government’s efforts toward achieving Universal Health Coverage as part of its social welfare programmes.
Ahmed added, “In driving this initiative, we leverage the expertise of youth corps medical personnel such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory scientists that are deployed to render free and quality medical services to communities across the country.
“We also mobilise medical consumables, including drugs, to treat ailments, while referrals are made to relevant health facilities, when necessary.”
The DG said that the successes recorded in the programme over the years were partly due to stakeholders’ support, especially those who provided resources such as drugs and other consumables for use during the outreaches.
Ahmed commended the patriotic zeal of the youth corps members of successive batches, who have been the field implementers of the HIRD in all states of the Federation and the FCT.
He added that their dedication to the humanitarian endeavour was not only touching the lives of Nigerians positively but also contributing to the visibility of NYSC as a scheme responsive to national needs.
The Director, Community Development Service and Special Projects, NYSC, Hajiya Zainab Isah, said that the inauguration signaled the official commencement of the 2024 medical outreaches, which would be conducted nationwide.
She said state secretariats of the scheme would take the health services to several communities at various times within the year.
“For the launch we are witnessing here, we have mobilised 50 youth corps medical personnel comprising 20 doctors, 12 pharmacists, 10 nurses, and eight medical laboratory scientists to attend to members of this community.
“Highlight of activities will be carried out in the next two days including sensitisation on causes and prevention of diseases, diagnosis, check-up and treatment of a wide range of ailments.
“As usual, medical conditions that require greater expertise or more sophisticated facilities than the ones at our disposal will be referred to the appropriate facilities,” she added.
Expressing gratitude to the scheme for its gesture, the District Head of Gosa District, Mr Isaku Joseph, said, “It is commendable for the scheme to bring such initiative to the community.”
According to him, the outreach will help in bridging the gap in healthcare delivery. He appealed to other organisations to emulate the scheme by helping communities where applicable.