On Eko free health mission

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An event which was reportedly held recently at Oto-Awori in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State tagged Eko free health mission.  This programme, which gave free health care and advice to the residents of Ojo and its environs, is one of the state government’s innovative schemes to improve the welfare of the populace.

I commend the efforts of the state government in its giant strides to better the lots of the people. I am however of the belief that such programmes as the Eko free health initiative should have been made available, using smaller units such as communities as a benchmark, rather than at the local government level.

My worry is borne out of the fear that most communities are insulated from the local government and development areas and, therefore, do not know what is happening at such levels.

For instance, inhabitants of Ijagemo community who share the same local government with Iba, Oto-Awori and, by extension, Ojo, hardly get informed of goings-on in the local government.  It is even easier for them to witness what happens in their closest proximities such as Ijegun, Abranje, Ikotun, Igando, Akesan, Obadore, etc, as they are always cut-off from the rest of their kith and kin along Iba and Ojo axis.

You then wonder how any patient with health challenges can survive being taken through this avoidable voyage before getting to where the health facility in Ojo is situated.  Your guess on the implication of this is as good as mine.

The state government should, as a matter of necessity, adopt a bottom-up approach in the implementation of policies that affect  the grass roots.  For such policies to have meaning and be appreciated by all and sundry, communities, and not local governments, should be made the target because of the disadvantaged location of certain communities and lack of access road to their respective local government headquarters.  The local government may be said to be the closest unit of governance to the people, but same cannot be said in the case of Ijagemo community.

However, I quite appreciate the giant strides of the highly innovative governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who I can only encourage to focus more on the rural populace.

Tony Anaele  

 Befun Ijagemo, Lagos.