The Executive Director of Women Protection Organisation (WOPO), Oluwatoyin Fowobola recently held a medical outreach at Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area (LCDA) as part of her organisation's goal to create awareness on Tuberculosis among the elderly in the society while checking their health statuses.
This initiative was in collaboration with Society for Family Health, Equitable Health Access Initiative (EHAI), and Centre for Sustainable Access for Health Africa (CeSAHA).
At the medical outreach, beneficiaries were given free medical checks for BP, weight, sugar level and cough. They also got essential medicines like Vitamin C, Multivitamins, Body-pain relief, and Folic Acid among others.
While World TB Day is observed every March 24, WOPO saw the need to harp on awareness alongside free testing for the elderly across LGAs in Lagos State.
"You know tuberculosis can be detected through cough some times. However, from many we tested, we discovered that it is not only from cough because majority of them didn't even have cough.
"Still we have increased awareness on signs to look out for: any cough that persists for two weeks, low weight, sweating at night, and little fever among others as symptoms of TB," Fowobola explained.
While enlightening about 100 participants including physically challenged persons, the ED said besides taking their sputum, "We also do X-ray for anyone that can't produce sputum which helped us detect the result."
She further described TB as a killer disease, which she said is even worse than HIV, hypertension and diabetes, adding that "I encourage Nigerians to get checked regularly".
Speaking also, the Programme Manager, Centre for Sustainable Access for Health Africa (CESEHA), Opeyemi Aladekoyi, said his organisation were on ground to ensure participants got their free TB test.
She alongside her team gave health talks, too. "Among those we tested, some had the knowledge of the disease while others didn't. So we ensured we enlightened them on protecting themselves against contracting the disease.
Aladekoyi added: "For those who have it, we let them know it is not the end of the world; they can get treatment and medicines for it, and get better."
In his reaction, the Chairman, Lagos Island East LCDA, Kamal Salau-Bashua, lauded the initiative as a welcome idea. "I feel good as the head of this government. It is a rare opportunity for our people to take advantage of.
"That is why I'm here in person to support and identify with the acceptability of TB test and treatment for residents and citizens, many of whom are not aware they have it."
While calling on other residents to seize such health outreaches in the communities, the chairman said a disease that is discovered early is curable. "That is my advocacy on behalf of the government of this council to our people".