By Aminat Babatunde
No fewer than 3,000 traders and patrons of Mandate Ultra Modern market, Ilorin at the weekend benefitted free health care and drugs courtesy of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Third Estate (Ilorin Emirate).
Also, among the beneficiaries of the programme were residents of Olorunsogo, Adewole and Apalara area of Ilorin.
In his remarks, the President of the group, Mallam Ahmed Bolaji Nagode said the gesture is borne out of the commitment of Third Estate to see to the growth and development of Ilorin Emirate.
“As an association which comprises professionals from both public and private sectors, we don’t seek financial support from outside the group for our programmes.
“We felt the need to embark on a programme like this in order to give back to our community. We all know that it is important we pay serious attention to our health.
“Looking at the nature of the business of our people, especially our market women and men, they find it difficult to check their health status regularly. We have brought this programme to reach out to a wide spectrum of Ilorin residents and we are looking forward to repeating it following the impressive turnout witnessed today,” he stated.
Speaking further, the President said before now, Third Estate had embarked on a lot of community supporting programmes in the area of drilling of boreholes, provision of books, furniture and blocks of classrooms in schools. He added that the group also sponsors Ramadan programmes in addition to providing mats and kettles in mosques across the Emirate.
On his part, the former senior special assistant to the Kwara State Governor on Secondary Health, Dr Ibrahim Gambari, who is also the Medical Director of Khadijat Memorial Hospital, Ilorin, urged residents of the state to maintain the habit of regular check-up to avoid calamity.
“These days, we consistently hear tales of people slumping and dying in the process. This is because of the stress we go through daily while others are suffering from one ailment or the other without knowing.
“It is important that people visit hospital to be diagnosed at least twice a year. Today, most of the people we have attended to have diabetes while quite a number have high blood pressure.”
One of the beneficiaries, who is the Iyaloja of the market, Hajia Afusat Dare appreciated Third Estate for the gesture, describing it as timely as traders hardly devote time to attend to their health.
“This programme has come at the right time because our people hardly have time to visit hospital to confirm their health status. They would rather devote such time to attend to their customers because the pressure is on us to provide food and other needs of our children,” she said.
Similarly, another beneficiary, Mrs Muyibat Badmus Soliu said, “It is cheering to know that Third Estate have the welfare of the people at heart and I will urge other organisations and the affluent in the society to replicate this free health care programme in the state.”