In a profound demonstration of compassion and unwavering dedication to the well-being of the less privileged, JCI Victoria Island, in collaboration with the Obiageli Aghedo Memorial Foundation, has launched a transformative health initiative at the Okobaba Destitute Home.
The initiative, aptly named the “Adetola Akinola Health Outreach,” provided critical and free healthcare services to hundreds of individuals, including children, pregnant women, the elderly, and men with the primary goal of achieving Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve the overall health and well-being of the vulnerable community.
The Okobaba Destitute Home, commonly known as the ‘beggars colony,’ is situated in Ebute Metta, Lagos and established in the early ’90s by former Lagos State military administrator Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, with the noble aim of offering shelter and assistance to those in need, particularly those grappling with health and physical challenges such as leprosy, blindness, and crippling conditions.
The Adetola Akinola Health Initiative was named after JCI Senator Adetola Akinola, the Charter President of the Local Organsation.
In her heartfelt remarks, Akinola expressed profound shock at the dire conditions prevailing at the destitute home, underscoring that its residents are among Nigeria’s most vulnerable and overlooked individuals.
“The residents at the destitute home are among the most vulnerable in Nigeria and the most neglected— in one swoop. Even among the destitute homes, Okobaba Destitute Home is a glaring victim of inequality,” Akinola lamented.
The health initiative tackled a comprehensive range of health priorities, encompassing child and adolescent health, communicable and non-communicable diseases, universal health coverage, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable medicines and vaccines. This holistic approach ensured that everyone, including the lame, lepers, and the blind, received the vital care they desperately needed.
President, JCI Victoria Island, JCIN Amb. Oyindamola Dare Hammed, underscored the initiative’s significance given the deplorable state of the center.
“The initiative was brought to the destitute community in light of the deplorable conditions they endure. It aimed to prevent needless suffering from preventable diseases and premature death by focusing on key health targets that uplift the overall population’s well-being,” stated Hammed.
Dare Hammed emphasized that the health initiative extends beyond healthcare services and issued a passionate call to action for the government to address the dire living conditions at destitute homes, where residents contend with inadequate sanitation facilities and a lack of proper cooking facilities.
Founder, Obiageli Aghedo Memorial Foundation, Aghata Akran expressed heartfelt gratitude to JCI Victoria Island for the privilege of collaborating on this transformative endeavour.
“Health and well-being are essential at every stage of life, beginning from birth. This initiative ensured health and well-being for all residing at the destitute home,” remarked Akran.
She further noted that the collective efforts of JCI Victoria Island and the Obiageli Aghedo Memorial Foundation have instilled hope and delivered essential healthcare to the long-neglected community of Okobaba Destitute Home.
“As the initiative continues to make a profound impact, it serves as a poignant reminder of the positive influence that dedicated organizations can wield over vulnerable populations. It also underscores the urgent need for increased support for those in need across Nigeria,” Akran concluded.