The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN) has pledged the commitment of his administration towards supporting collaboration aimed at bettering the lives of the citizens and residents of the State.
Arakunrin Akeredolu made the pledge when he flagged off the third quarter Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) programme at Igbotu in the Ese-Odo Local Government Council area.
Speaking through the Chairman, NYSC Ondo State Governing Board who was represented by the Deputy Director, Youth Development in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, Mr. Babatunde Omotosho, Governor Akeredolu said that his government is ready to ensure the sustenance of this laudable initiative.
“Health, they say is wealth. Let me quickly seize this opportunity to call on the people of this Igbotu community and its environs to troop out in large numbers and take full advantage of this programme to enhance your well-being”.
According to Governor Akeredolu, the HIRD programme is aimed at promoting the well-being of people at the grassroots where qualified corps medical personnel and other allied professionals offer free medical services to the poorest of the poor and the indigent individuals in the rural areas.
“While we are trying our very best to ensure that citizens and residents have unhindered access to qualitative medical facilities throughout the state, the financial resources available is not adequate to cater for competing needs, hence, this pleasant support in form of HIRD from the NYSC is a welcome idea,” he said.
Akeredolu, who lauded the NYSC for this life-changing gesture said that the programme could be seen as an extension of the government policy of making healthcare accessible to all and sundry.
“NYSC has gone a step further in her primary objective of promoting unity and integration among the various components that make up the country as well as imbibing the spirit of industry in the members of the service corps to be self-reliant to the present initiative of providing free medical services to the indigent populace of the rural areas”.
“The Government hereby pledge to strengthen these partners and seek ways to expand its reach to enable more people in the Sunshine State to benefit. This we shall pursue holistically to further deepen the objectives of the programme” he concluded.
In her introductory speech, the State Coordinator, Mrs. Victoria Nnenna Ani said that the aim of the programme is to mobilise qualified corps medical professionals to attend to the indigent rural dwellers who ordinarily may not have access to quality medical services because of the remoteness of their locations.
The State Coordinator, therefore, called on the members of the benefitting community and its environs to feel free to discuss any of their confidential health-related challenges with the corps medical professionals that would be attending to them in the course of the exercise.
“I wish to let you know that the Director-General of this noble Scheme, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim in a bid to tackle the health challenges of the rural populace, re-invigorated the programme and ensure that the outreach is carried out quarterly and I want to plead with you to cooperate with the corps medical personnel as the success recorded will largely depend on your comportment”.
The State Coordinator who was equally represented by the Assistant Director/Head, Community Development Service (CDS), Mr. Friday Abiodun Ainakhu appreciated all individuals and corporate organisations that supported the programme with drugs and medical equipment.
The NYSC Ondo State boss reminded the beneficiaries of the programme that COVID -19 is still very much in our society and admonished them to follow the protocols and adhere strictly to preventive measures.
“We are on the battlefield and very soon we shall crush COVID -19 that is threatening our survival as a race. My advice to you is to keep on maintaining both social and physical distancing, washing your hands frequently with liquid soap under running clean water, applying alcohol-based hand sanitiser at intervals and wearing appropriately facemask the moment you step outside your house” she said.
The Executive Chairman of Ese-Odo Local Government, Honourable (Mrs.) Folawe Aluko Sipasi in her goodwill message said that the Council will continue to support this good initiative of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The Executive Chairman, who was represented by Prince Temituro Asher said that the Community Development Service (CDS) project of the corps members will continue to receive priority attention from her administration.
The royal father of the coastal community, HRH Oba Adeniji Ajayi, the Gbaluwe of Igbotuland was represented by High Chief Oge during the outreach.
Members of the Igbotu community and its environs came out en-masse for the flag-off ceremony and to benefit immensely from the programme which will last for five days.