Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that no fewer than 250,000 residents across the state are targeted for a free healthcare delivery programme tagged: Jigi-Bola.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made this disclosure at the flag off of the 4th Edition of BOSKOH Free Medical Outreach tagged: “Jigi-Bola Relaunch Phase II” which took place at the Police College, Ikeja.
The programme is targeted to reach over 250,000 Lagosians in eight Local Government Areas, Community Sites, eight Market Sites and eight Police Barracks, with no fewer than 961 volunteers expected to provide medical services for the outreach.
BOSKOH is an acronym for Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and Kadri Obafemi Hamzat Health Mission International, an initiative that commenced in 2019.
The Jigi-Bola Initiative started under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State. Its relaunch came this year to save lives from preventable blindness and restore beneficiaries back to their livelihood.
The relaunch of the Jigi-Bola Initiative in conjunction with BOSKOH Healthcare Mission International was borne out of the need to look after residents’ health and every part of their bodies.
Speaking during the flag-off, the governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Kadri Hamzat, said his administration had through the BOSKHO Health Mission International, continued to lead the frontiers in delivering good healthcare for the citizens.
“Considering the status of Lagos as a megacity and our ever-increasing population, the BOSKOH Health Mission Initiative targeted and identified 250,000 residents in need of visual and hearing aids.
“This Administration has also taken the bolder step by broadening the scope of the Health Mission to include other health provisions beyond the provision of visual and hearing aids programme to cater for the need of Lagosians whose health needs do not fall within visual and hearing impairments.
“Visual and hearing loss are the most prevalent sensory disabilities globally, and we do not have to be apologetic about its growing number of cases, but to take deliberate actions in reducing the statistics in our dear state.
“Vision and hearing difficulties before they become impaired can be prevented with early detection, care and other medical interventions. Hence, it has become essential to continue in this direction with the BOSKOH Lagos Healthcare Mission International by re-stating our commitment to improve the well-being and welfare of our dear citizens,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated.
The governor cited the World Health Organisation (WHO) figure, saying over two billion people had a near or distant visual impairment while noting at least, over One billion or almost half of these cases could have been preventable, according to the world body.
“In Nigeria, according to International Centre for Eye Health, it is estimated that over 2.7 million adults aged between 40 years and above have a moderate visual impairment, and additional 400,000 adults are severely, visually impaired.
“This Free Sight and hearing Aid Programme taking place again today is aimed at improving and strengthening the State’s capacity for efficient eye and ear care delivery at the grassroots, and to ensure that Lagosians do not lose their vision and hearing organs when these could have been prevented,” the governor said.
Similarly, the wife of the governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said the programme, ever since it was launched in 2001, had contributed a great deal in achieving unparalleled impact in preventing blindness and correcting visual dysfunction, which was estimated to be a major health risk to residents.
She said the programme, after a break of some years, was rehabilitated by the Sanwo-Olu administration in partnership with the BOSKOH Health Mission International, in the best interest of the people, and most importantly, in line with the THEMES Agenda for a greater Lagos.