By Our Correspondent
Residents of Bogobiri community in Calabar, the Cross River State capital may be sleeping better now following a free medical outreach carried out by the Cross River State government Tuesday, as part of activities marking the Eid El-Kabir celebrations.
The residents trooped out in their numbers as staff of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) led by its Director General, Betta Edu distributed Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and malaria drugs to those who tested positive for the malaria parasite following tests.
“The state government as led by Senator Professor Ben Ayade is really passionate about health and is committed to End Malaria for Good which was the theme for this year’s world malaria day” Betta told CrossRiverWatch in an interview.
“The aim of this outreach is to first, sensitize our people on the need to sleep under Long Lasting Insecticide Treated nets, test for malaria regularly as well as several preventive measures so they do not fall sick.
“We tutored them on basic life saving skills and the need for them to use government approved facilities only, when sick or not feeling fine. Yes, this is also part of the Eid El-Kabir celebration, it is one of the Cross River State’s Government gift to our Muslim brothers but the celebrations will be meaningless if the people are not healthy which is why we came here to preach the message of health with particular focus on malaria.
“We also sensitized them on the Ayadecare act, how they stand to benefit from all round medical insurance despite paying very minimal sum as premium of which 1,000 Naira is the minimum per month and 12,000 Naira for a year and they happily subscribed to it” Betta said.
Welcomed by the leader of the Hausa/Fulani community Alhaji Salisu Lawal, Betta and her team were allowed into the Bogobiri central mosque where they addressed the Muslim faithful before proceeding to share nets to each household and test them for the malaria parasite.
On measures put in place to ensure proper usage of the nets and clean environments, the secretary of the Hausa/Fulani community in Cross River State, Alhaji Shabazz told journalists in an interview that “I can say yes (that the nets will be used) because of the the way I have translated how to use it (nets) in the local vernacular.
“Most of them will be running to me, to put them through on how to use it properly. So i have no doubt that they will be able to use it properly.”
On the issue of cleaning the community which Channels TV Imani Odey observed was filthy, Shabazz said that: “Change does not start from the person on top, it starts from us. Within our own little capacity, we can do the little we can do. But you see when you are living in a community like this, you have three categories of people; the bad, the good and the ugly. No matter what you do, you can still find some places filthy but we will still see how we can be able to manage them and make them see the reason why they need to keep their environment clean.”
Also, he lauded the state government for the gesture which he said was the first time a sitting government will do such for the muslim community.
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