More than 9,500 rural dwellers have benefitted from a one-month long medical outreach organised by the medical students of the University of Ilorin in Kwara.
The outreach, which centred on the treatment of malaria, was conducted under the Community Based Experience and Service (COBES) designed for the medical students.
The students recounted their experiences on Friday during the oral presentation of the COBES postings report by 200 level medical students of the institution.
Mr Atuhtetuh Francis, a 200 level student, who spoke with newsmen, said his team encountered invasion of bees, which nearly marred the programme.
Francis also listed lack of clean water and electricity as well as language barrier in the six communities visited as other challenges they encountered during the outreach.
“These rural communities have health challenges that include malaria, with children more prone to the disease.
“Others were ringworm, body and joint pain, diarrhoea, typhoid and hypertension, among others,” Francis said.
He attributed some of these health challenges to lack of potable water, saying that some communities depend on streams.
According to the students’ report, the health facilities in these rural communities were under-utilised because of distance and lack of medical doctors.
Some people, the report stated, believe in taking herbs and concoction to treat their ailments and diseases, rather than visiting the health facility.
The COBES students stated that with supervision, they carried out malaria and blood sugar tests on the people, donated first aid boxes, distributed drugs and sensitised youths in the communities on sex education and HIV/AIDS.
The COBES Coordinator, Dr Uthman Mubashir, said the students were exposed to field work early to appreciate what the community life looks like.
He said this would stir their interest, human feelings and afford them the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the community.
Mubashir commended the university management for supporting the programme.
According to him, the COBES programme was initiated since the inception of the Faculty of Medicine of the institution.
The Baale of Iponrin, Ilorin East Local Government Area, Alhaji Musa Ahmed, said that the students were “lovable and well behaved”.
Ahmed explained that the bees that invaded the house where the students were accommodated could have been attracted to the smell of drugs they brought for the programme.
He said bee invasion was a frequent occurrence in the community whenever the students were on their COBES programme.
“The bees are always around because of attraction to medicinal scents,” the Baale explained.
Chief Onire Kayode, another community leader from Igbonla, Irepodun Local Government Area, commended the students for being well-behaved and eager to learn about community life.
180 medical students, who participated in the programme visited Alakuko, Apado, Igbonla, Ipee, Iponrin and Oke-Ose communities of Kwara.