No fewer than two million rural dwellers have accessed free medical treatment offered by members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) across the country.
NYSC Director-General Brig-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, disclosed this on Monday at the flag-off of the 2021 nationwide Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) programme in Abuja.
He noted that the NYSC-HIRD which was introduced in 2014, has contributed immensely towards promoting the wellbeing of indigent persons at the grassroots by granting them easier access to free and quality healthcare.
He said, “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.”
According to him “The programme is largely implemented through medical outreaches in communities across the country, during which Corps Medical Volunteers1 carry out diagnosis; treatment, including minor medical procedures; and referrals of patients. Drugs, eyeglasses and other medical consumables are also given to patients free of charge.
The DG explained that corps members have for decades been using other NYSC Community Development Service platforms to make more frequent health-related interventions, including medical outreaches, health surveys, construction of cottage clinics and renovation of other health facilities.
“Others include a campaign against HIV/AIDS, Malaria Control, Guinea Worm Eradication, the immunization against Measles, Poliomyelitis and other child-killer diseases as well as the prevention of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
“Our recent contributions to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic have also attracted widespread commendations. While the nation was on lockdown, we harnessed the talents of Corps members for various interventions, including mass production and donation of face masks, antiseptic liquid soaps and hand sanitisers through the FCT Administration and State Governments all over the Federation.
“They equally fabricated and donated automatic and foot-operated water, liquid soap and hand sanitiser dispensers and disinfection chambers in several States