Sent In by Dr. Samuel Abiona
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ondo State, has offered free medical services to over 200 staff of Idanre local government area.
This was during the Ondo NULGE Free Medical Mission that held Tuesday 21st January 2019 at Idanre Local Government secretariat complex, Idanre.
The Free Medical Mission is under the NULGE Health Scheme, introduced by the administration of the NULGE President, Comrade Bola Taiwo, when he first assumed office in an acting capacity. The NULGE Health Scheme was officially flagged off on May 15 2019 at Akure South local government area, Akure, Ondo State.
With the Mission held at Idanre, the NULGE Free Medical Mission has thus been carried out in 7 local government areas (LGAs): Akure South, Owo, Akoko North East, Odigbo, Ondo West, Okitipupa and Idanre.
The Ondo State NULGE President, Comrade Bola Taiwo, pledged that the welfare of staff would be given priority during his tenure when he assumed office as elected President of the Union. And the NULGE Health Scheme is one of the top welfare packages he is actively pursuing, believing that a healthy workforce is a wealthy one.
It will be recalled that at the inauguration of the NULGE Health Scheme in May 2019, the NULGE President said that it would afford members the opportunity to get checked at their doorsteps.
“The NULGE Health Clinic Scheme is part of our Corporate Social Responsibilities that obviously has direct benefits in our members. It is aimed at creating the consciousness of ‘Health First’ in all our members as it will afford them the opportunity to get checked at their doorsteps before referral, if need be, to higher service.”
The NULGE Health Scheme is a total package that involves the setting of NULGE Health Clinics across the 18 local government areas of Ondo State, supported with medicines, basic equipment, and personnel.
The Scheme also includes the provision of routine clinical services, routine medical check-ups for staff, and referral services.
Thus far, close 5,000 staff have benefited from the Scheme across the various local government areas of Ondo State – including the number of visits to the various NULGE Health Clinics across the 18 local government areas of Ondo State.
The Free Medical Mission is just one of the many aspects of the NULGE Health Scheme. The Free Medical Mission that takes place in each local government area will continue until all the 18 local government areas are covered.
The purpose of the Free Medical Mission is to drive the principle of health first into the consciousness of Ondo state local government staff so that they can prioritize their health above all else.
Local Government Staff React
Some of the staff interviewed during the free medical mission commended the current Excos of State NULGE and the various branches in the local government areas for bringing up the Scheme and supporting it. They also commended the members of the NULGE Health Committee for their efforts in implementing the programme.
In his own remarks, while welcoming the team, the Director of Local Government Administration for Idanre Local Government, Mr. Olajide Israel commended Ondo NULGE and said he was proud of what the Union was doing about the welfare of staff, in particular, their health.
He said the team should take note that he was 100% in support of what Ondo NULGE was doing in Idanre local government and that they could always call on him whenever they needed him.
Comrade Adeyemi, NULGE Trustee I and a member of the NULGE Health Committee said that despite the huge money required to run the programme, the NULGE President was committed to its success.
She said the feedback from staff had been very encouraging as many of them showed appreciation for the NULGE Health Scheme.
According to her, the NULGE Health Clinics across the 18 local government areas had afforded members of staff the opportunity to access their health.
NULGE Health Scheme is the ‘Baby of the Union’ – NULGE Deputy President
The Deputy NULGE President, Comrade Akinrinlola Frederick, said that the NULGE Health Scheme was the baby of the Union. When asked if the programme could be sustained due to the huge financial commitment to keep it running, he said:
“This programme is a baby of the Union. The programme must not die because nobody will allow his or her child to die.”
He said that most staff did not appreciate the need to check their health and so it was imperative that efforts should be made to drive that consciousness into them.
In his address to the staff present, the Deputy President of NULGE, Comrade Akinrinlola Frederick, who represented the Ondo State NULGE President, advised the staff of Idanre local government to know that the greatest welfare they could get from the Union was paying attention to their health.
A staff, who collapsed as the medical team was arriving, was revived at the NULGE Health Clinic in Idanre and later referred to the General Hospital at Alade in the same local government.
Many staff attested to the fact that what happened at the scene just as the Free Medical Mission was about to commence also underscored the importance and the objective of the programme and the reason it must be sustained.
The NULGE Medical Mission continues from February in another local government. It is hoped that the scheme would bring about a beacon of hope and health to the numerous staff of the local government, who otherwise may unable to get the needed health care they require.
This piece was submitted by Dr. Samuel Abiona, a Public Health Physician and the Chairman, NULGE Health Committee, Ondo State. He writes in from firstname.lastname@example.org