by on April 16, 2019 Read Time: 4 minutes, 31 seconds

For the people of Ipaja and its environs in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, it was an experience that would be relished for some time to come in the communitys history.

Recently, residents gathered at the Victory Branch of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), located on Ajiboye Street, in the Pleasure Area of the city, to be part of the annual health programme organised by a Lagos-based not- for-profit organization, Destiny Focus, in collaboration with a renowned optical medical centre, the Eye Foundation.

The annual health event, which included health talk, medical screening and distribution of glasses to over 400 residents of the area present, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ikeja-based NGO, Mrs. Titi Fasuyi, was informed by the need to reach out to residents, especially indigents, who are in need of medical attention, but are without the financial wherewithal.

The intention of the programme, she added, was to fill the medical gap. You know there is this common saying that health is wealth. But in this society of ours, only a very negligible few can afford to seek medical help when they are sick, because of the expenses that go with such venture. So the aim of this initiative is to reach out to such people and lend a helping hand. That is why we were very strategic in our choice of venue for the event, because besides being densely-populated, the Ipaja-Abule Egba axis of the metropolis cannot be said to be an upscale area.

We knew this was where we could find the type of people we were actually looking for, Mrs Fasuyi stated. Interestingly, the turnout at the event and a closer look at those that showed up for the exercise bore testimony to the fact that the organisers were on point in their choice of venue.

For instance, it was obvious from the attendance that the one-day health initiative would require a review, perhaps a further extension, to be able to accommodate the huge number of people with various medical issues that came up for the exercise.

An attestation to this is the fact that despite being on their seats for the better part of the event, it was difficult for the six-man medical team from the Eye Foundation Hospital to attend to all residents, who kept thronging to the venue of the event, especially those that came after the organisers had closed registration for the day.

Though we couldnt attend to everybody; especially those that came in the later part of the day when we had closed registration, but what we did was to ensure that we attended to every registered person that came to seek medical help at the venue, the Destiny Focus boss said.

And for the over 400 beneficiaries of the day, it was an exercise worth their time. For instance, what made the initiative very unique, for many of them, was the fact that it wasnt restricted to members of a religious organisation or denomination, despite having the programme inside the auditorium of a church.

We had a foreknowledge of the event a few days ago. But we had thought it was going to be for members of the CAC alone, since it would be holding in the premises of one of their branches. It was therefore a pleasant surprise for us to discover that it was for all irrespective of religion, tribe or even social status, stated Mrs. Ajayi, a Muslim, who lives within the neighbourhood, but had also come to check her blood pressure and seek medical advice on her failing vision.

But, the organisers believed the purpose of the event would have been defeated if such restrictions had taken place. We all know that poverty and sickness do not have boundaries. Christians fall sick, so also are Muslims. The way we have Christians that are indigent, so also do we have Muslims that are indigent. So if you are really talking about impacting the lives of the people, positively, there is no way such initiative can be restricted. It is about restoring smiles on the faces of the people in the area, especially the struggling ones, Mrs. Fasuyi stated.

A man simply identified as Mr. Kayode, who had brought his two kids around for eye tests, would not agree less. For him, the programme had brought him relief and doused the apprehension and anxiety he had been having concerning the eyes of his two kids.

Ordinarily, we had made efforts, and a pair of glasses was even recommended for one of the kids for reading. But this medical initiative has availed me the opportunity of getting a top-notch medical advice and support.

You know it would have been difficult for me to just stroll into the Eye Foundations Hospital in Ikeja, without having a deep pocket. But the initiative is bringing the experts from this optical centre to our doorsteps, said Kayode, who came all the way from Ota, Ogun State.

A representative of the optical centre, who would not want his name in print, stated that though the cost of such medical services at their clinic could be on the high side, but the foundation would not hesitate to partner with honest organisations, whose pre-occupation is to serve the needy.

We will always be there for this type of initiative. It is a way of giving back to our operating environment, he said.