By Janet John, LAFIA
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), says it is targeting about 30,000 rural dwellers in five communities across Nasarawa State for its Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) programme.
Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, Director General of NYSC inaugurated the 2021 weeklong HIRD Medical Outreach in Giza Development Area of the state on Monday with the 2021 theme “Health is Wealth for Advancement”.
The DG, represented by Mrs Gladys Adama, said that since the launching of HIRD in 2014, the medical outreach has been a platform for contributions towards promoting the well-being of indigent persons at the grassroots by granting them easier access to free and quality healthcare.
“The programme is largely implemented through medical outreaches across the country during which Corps Medical Volunteers carry out diagnosis, treatment including minor procedures and referrals of patients.
“Drugs, eye glasses and other medical consumables are given to patients free of charge. 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,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Stephen Dewan, Nasarawa State Coordinator of NYSC, said the initiative conceived years ago to address the health challenges of Nigerians, especially at the grassroots will benefit about 30000 rural dwellers in five communities across the state during the one week initiative drive.
“We dont have a definite figure of the populations of the communities but based on our capacity and our estimate, our target is between 20,000 to 30,000 rural dwellers to benefit from this year’s medical outreach drive.
“The communities benefitting from this year’s HIRD initiative are Giza for today. On the 23rd of this month, Andaha community in Akwanga will also benefit from the HIRD initiative. Then Mararaba Udege development area will also benefit on the 24th of this month.
“Kurape community in Karshi development Area is also benefitting on the 24th too. Also, Araku community in Lafia local Government Area on the same 24th of this month,” he said.
He expressed optimism that HIRD, which he said had gained acceptance among rural communities across the country, would sue for further collaboration with more organisations to enhance its activities.
The state coordinator then expressed gratitude to the host community for its massive support for the health initiative and its hospitality to corps members who are posted there to perform their national service.
“The choice of Giza is not a mistake because NYSC has been very close to the people of this community. Since the setting up of the development area, we have had cause to send corps members here.
“The reports from those sent here is that they have been well received and well treated. So when in beholds on the NYSC DG to kickstart this activity for the year 2021, the choice of Giza came first,” he said.