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NIGERIA | Arise Women Takes Preventive Healthcare to Schoolgirls

Josephine Agbonkhese
school-sss

A huge mobile clinic, bus-load of drugs, an ambulance, doctors of different specialities, more than 100 volunteers and members announced the presence of Women Arise at Queens’ College, QC, Yaba, last Friday in Lagos for a health outreach programme.At the end of the event, over 200 people ad been examined, treated and given drugs free-of-charge. The beneficiaries were mostly QC students as well as staff and residents in the neighbourhood.

Asked why the intimidating presence, Pastor (Mrs) Siju Iluyomade, Founder of Arise Women, a non-governmental organisation, and Convener of the outreach, said it was time everyone realized that health, especially for the girl child, was important for nation building.

Mrs Iluyomade, a lawyer and old girl of QC, said: “Our working principle is that preventive health management is cheaper than curative health care.

“So, with funding from members and well-meaning Nigerians, we take all-round health programmes to women and the less-privileged in places such as Makoko, Maroko and others.” She added that the outreach to QC was particularly significant because the college is a message of unity across ethnic and religious divide, and humanity is the focus of Arise Women. Dr. Okorie Emmanuel, a volunteer, works with Best Care Hospital, Ikoyi. But as he attended to persons after persons, monetary benefit was clearly far from his mind.

He said: “To serve humanity makes you feel good. It is not new to me. During my National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, year, I was with the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship, NCCF. “We used to go to interior villages with Rural Rugged evangelism outreach and health care.” For Omoniyi Timileyin, a senior student of QC, the programme and the Arise Women Founder were inspirational.

She said: “In my time, I will come back here and renovate the hall or the gymnasium.” “We will never stop this outreach,” Mrs Iluyomade said, as she moves about, encouraging somebody hear and praying for another there. And that is what Mrs Amao Oluwafunmilayo, another beneficiary, earnestly desires. “They should not stop. Every Nigerian woman needs this kind of outreach”, Amao said.

Published: March 27, 2015. By Josephine Agbonkhese
Copyright © 2015 Vanguard Media Limited, Nigeria

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