The gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Pharm. Jimi Agbaje, has tasked the federal government on meeting the basic healthcare needs of Nigerians, especially the vulnerable; as this will enhance reduction in the occurrence of untimely death among the populace.
Speaking at the 2018 Annual Widows Day Free Healthcare Outreach, organised by The Roses Ministry, a faith-based non-governmental organisation, which focuses on alleviating the plight of widows, orphans and vulnerable persons in the society, held inside the National Population Commission Secretariat, Surulere, Lagos recently, Agbaje, a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), decried the rate at which vulnerable Nigerians are dying due to lack of adequate healthcare delivery.
Agbaje, whose arrival to the venue of the event threw the crowd into wild jubilation, is in the gubernatorial race again for the third time, having lost the last Lagos governorship election to the incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
In his words, the eminent pharmacist urged the widows, which numbered about 2000 to imbibe the habit of checking their health status against any ailment, stressing that regular check-up was a way to get early intervention and arrest a deteriorating health condition.
The PDP candidate who also participated in screening some of the widows, said he was not at the programme to campaign, but he promised to introduce a health insurance scheme to cover all citizens in addition to providing adequate health facilities in the state, if elected as the governor of Lagos State in 2019.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 2,000 widows benefited from the free health screening and donations of food items, clothing materials, and drugs at this year’s programme.
The Coordinator of The Roses Ministry, Pharm. Regina Ezenwa attributed the success of the programme to God.
According to her : “ The Roses Ministry as a Foundation was set up to show God’s love to the hurting and vulnerable in society, had little beginning as it started with about 50 widows some years ago, but has significantly increased to over 2000 widows in 2018. One of the reasons for conducting free healthcare screening and giving out free drugs to all the widows was to assist majority of them, who desire adequate healthcare but do not have the financial strength to obtain it”.
Also present at the healthcare screening exercise was the Zonal Coordinator, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Surulere Zone, Pharm. Daniel Okoye, who explained that the free healthcare outreach for the widows has been an annual partnership between the ACPN, Surulere Zone, and The Roses Ministry, adding that it was part of the association’s contribution to improving public healthcare in the country.
Also speaking, Ugochi Opara, head, Widows Department, The Roses Ministry, noted that apart from the level of support towards the ministry which has improved tremendously, the number of participants has also increased significantly compared to last year.
The 2018 Annual Widows Day Free Healthcare Outreach themed: “The Widow and Her Choices”, the programme featured praise and worship, drama, free medical attention, counseling and giving out of relief materials, ranging from Bibles, Ankara fabrics, bags of rice, drinks, tomato pastes, loaves of bread, vegetable oil, toiletries and drugs to the widows.